Prayers for victims 7 years after disaster

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Bereaved families of victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake offer flowers at a memorial in Tokyo on Sunday.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — With silent prayers and a renewed determination to speed up disaster reconstruction, the nation marked the seventh anniversary Sunday of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which left about 18,000 people dead or missing and set off the country’s worst-ever nuclear crisis.

The government held a memorial ceremony at the National Theater in Tokyo, which was attended by Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, the heads of the three branches of government and other people, including representatives of the families of disaster victims in the three hardest-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

At 2:46 p.m., when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the nation’s northeastern coast seven year ago, participants offered a minute of silence in honor of the victims.

“Seven years have passed and reconstruction has made steady headway in disaster areas,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an address, noting progress in the recovery of infrastructure and housing construction.Speech

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