Japan’s prime minister visits the tsunami-sticken north-east of his country today to see how life is getting back to normal three months after the disaster. He will see that it is painfully slow.
With the Fukushima nuclear meltdown getting most of the attention the plight of the 90,000 evacuated people who have lost everything has been sidelined. They live in shelters, their region lies under 25 million tons of debris and 16 million tons of mud that will take years to remove, and their jobs have disappeared.
One estimate says a quarter of a trillion dollars will be needed to rebuild, but the director of the reconstruction commission says that could lead to an economic boom for the whole of Japan.
But there is little sign of it starting. Many have criticised the slow pace of the clean-up and arrival of funds. Many people would just like to stand on their own two feet, get jobs and work their way out of the crisis, like local fishermen. But their boats lie beached in shattered ports, and all some of them can do is hope for a miracle.