|Image from 7News|
In Fukushima, tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in anti-nuclear protests, calling for the end of atomic power in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown.
The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard also today praised the Japanese people for their courage in rebuilding their lives after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of one year ago. "This is a day of painful memories for the Japanese people and on behalf of all Australians, I express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy," Ms Gillard said in a statement today. Ms Gillard was the first foreign leader to visit the disaster zone.
In the past year since the disaster a lot has changed. Mountains of rubble and rubbish have been cleared, Nuclear power has been debated seriously and its future in Japan is in doubt, and many questions have been raised of the current Japanese government. Unfortunately, even a year after the tragedy, parts of Japan are still trying to recover, and more than 3,000 people are still missing or unaccounted for. Damages from the earthquake and tsunami are still being assessed with estimates well into the tens of billions of dollars.
People’s habits have also changed with more people wearing flat shoes to work, and carrying water and biscuits in case of another emergency. The past year has been a spike in the purchase of bicycles and a boom in engagements and weddings. The earthquake and tsunami has been a sharp reminder that life is short and can be taken at any time.
Big cities like Tokyo and Osaka have returned almost back to normal and it is business as usual in these places, but electricity saving measures all over Japan are still in place. Things are slowing getting back to what they were with the neon lights blazing again and tourists making their way back to Japan, but not as fast as expected. Hopefully the upcoming cherry blossom season will have tourists flooding back to enjoy one of the best seasons in Japan for travel.
|Image from Herald Sun|
This is my submission to the March 2012 J-Festa "The 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake Anniversary"