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Great East Japan Earthquake

Remembering 3.11.2011 In Peace Park

A memorial ceremony was held in Peace Park on the evening of 3rd March to remember the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami and nuclear disaster that it unleashed upon Japan on 11th March 2011.

Around 200 to 250 people gathered at the Shinsui Terrace on the south bank of the Motoyasu River, opposite the A-Bomb Dome in Peace Park at 5:30pm to participate in the ceremony.

The memorial ceremony, Shinsui Terrace, Peace Park.

The memorial ceremony, Shinsui Terrace, Peace Park.

Candles had been set out in a 3.11 arrangement and lit up the terrace as dusk descended over the park. Speeches were made, songs were sung, prayers were said.

Remembering 3.11 with candles.

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It was an informal gathering. Some people stopped to remember while passing through Peace Park, others stayed for whole of the ceremony. Others observed the ceremony from the opposite bank or from the bridge.

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Looking across the Motoyasu River to the A-Bomb Dome

On behalf of the organizers we would like to thank everybody who attended, and also everybody who stopped to say a prayer, or simply to remember and reflect, on 11th March.

ANT-Hiroshima

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We Remember The Great East Japan Earthquake

Today we mark the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck the Tohoku region and was followed by a massive tsunami, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster on 11th March 2011.

It was the most powerful recorded earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes ever recorded anywhere in the world. In Miyako, the waves of the incoming tsunami reached heights of 40.5 metres.

According to figures supplied by the police, 15,881 people died, 2,668 are still missing, presumed dead, and 6,142 were injured. Just over 65% of the victims were aged 60 or over, while 6.5% of the victims were aged 19 or younger. (In Japan, adulthood begins at the age of 20.) Of that number, 378 fatalities were school students.

Of the children who survived, 236 lost both their parents, 1,580 lost one of their parents, and 100,000 children became disaster refugees.

In Fukushima, the nuclear disaster led to the immediate evacuation of nearly 134,000 residents who lived up to 20 km from the plant were evacuated. Four days later the evacuation zone was extended to 30 kilometres from the plant, causing an additional 354,000 to be evacuated.

Two years later, the debris has been cleared or piled up, but much reconstruction work still remains to be done, and the clean up operation at Fukushima will take many more years.

Our concern today, as we remember the victims and mourn for them, is for the survivors, especially the children whose lives were so tragically affected by the three connected disasters. We invite you to take a moment to stop and pray for the victims, both the quick and the dead, at 2:46pm Tokyo time or at a convenient moment for you, wherever you may be on this day.

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Here in Hiroshima, there will be a candlelight memorial service by the Motoyasu River in Peace Park from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the Shinsui Terrace. If you are in Hiroshima at that time, please join us.

ANT-Hiroshima

 

 

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Great East Japan Earthquake One Year On: We Won’t Forget That Day

On 11th March 2012 people all over Japan marked the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck at 14 minutes to three in the afternoon of 11th March 2011, causing 15,854 confirmed deaths, leaving 26,992 people injured and 3,155 people missing across twenty prefectures.

A ceremony was also held in Peace Park, Hiroshima, with speeches by Steve Leeper, the chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Tomoko Watanabe of ANT-Hiroshima among others. Candles were lit in a “3.11” pattern. Prayers were said and songs were sung. A commemorative 3 minute video was made of the event, which you can view here:

ANT-Hiroshima

Source: Wikipedia

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ANT-Hiroshima Fact Finding Trip To Disaster Area

Here are a few photos which were taken by one of our group members as part of our fact-finding and emergency relief mission to areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
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Iidate village in Fukushima is just outside the 30 kilometer exclusion zone (purple line on the map, above), but as the village has been in the path of prevailing winds passing over Fukushima, the villagers have now had to be evacuated.

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Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture was utterly destroyed by the tsunami.

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This is the interior of a post office in the area.

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Kesennuma junior high school has become a refuge centre for displaced people from the area. In the photo above, Japanese Defence Force trucks provide emergency relief.

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More Japanese Defence Force Trucks. The JDF has played a major part in the relief operation.

ANT-Hiroshima

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