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At exactly 14:26 p.m. on March 11, 2011, when a huge earthquake struck northeastern Japan, I was giving a speech in downtown Tokyo. Fortunately, the ceiling of the old ballroom did not collapse. Public transportation and telephone services immediately came to a halt. Millions of people were forced to walk home, often taking hours, while many others had to spend the night at their places of work.

When I evacuated the building, miraculously, I was able to catch a taxi. When I got home, TV news programs started reporting the large-scale devastation caused by the tsunami that battered the region’s shores. Nobody can forget those unbelievable scenes. Then we learned about the meltdowns at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. This is how I remember the disaster 10 years ago.

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