Exactly a year on from the enormously destructive earthquake and tsunami, Japan is remembering.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko led a minute of silence in Tokyo’s National Theatre at the precise moment that the 9.0 magnitude tremor unleashed a wall of water that ravaged the northeast coast, killing thousands.
Across the country memorial services are being held. Japan is still dealing with the emotional fallout from the disaster, as well as the economic and nuclear aftermath.
Residents from the abandoned town of Okuma returned home for a few hours to pay their respects to those lost 12 months ago.
It’s the location of four of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s reactors.
Radiation means the area remains uninhabitable. Tens of thousands were made homeless after a 20 kilometre exclusion zone was set up around the plant.
The impact of the nuclear crisis spread far beyond. The disaster exposed serious flaws in safety standards and regulations.
Once again the terrible images of the ocean invading the land are prominent in people’s minds, as Japan slowly recovers from the tragedy that left some 19,000 dead or missing.