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Tears, prayers and resolve to pass on lessons learned swept Japan on Thursday as the country marked 10 years since a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated its northeastern coast, with services to mourn the more than 15,000 lives lost held in the hardest-hit areas and Tokyo.

Residents in the severely affected prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi observed a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m., exactly a decade after the huge quake shook eastern and northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami and the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

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