Matsuo Sato, 72, of Sendai’s Miyagino Ward, lost his wife, Tokiko, at the age of 61, 10 days after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

She died of acute cardiac failure, which was recognized as a disaster-related death caused by the burden of life at an evacuation shelter.

“She must have been so exhausted that she ended up dying,” Matsuo said.