Japan on Saturday marked 12 years since a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the country's northeast, claiming the lives of over 15,000 people and triggering a nuclear disaster that will take decades to clean up.

Recovery from the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resultant tsunami that devastated Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures has progressed in the ensuing years, but some 31,000 people remained displaced as of November 2022. Cleanup plans at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex are also stoking controversy.

More than a decade on from the disaster, the national government no longer hosts a memorial service, with municipalities in affected areas holding events at a reduced scale.