Speaking of recovery, the Tohoku region still has a way to go, even a decade after the triple disaster of 3/11. Here are five features looking back at lessons learned and problems remaining, 10 years on:
- Hundreds of thousands of people were directly impacted by the catastrophe: lives lost, lives uprooted, livelihoods destroyed. As we commemorate those losses, we must also remember the heroes of that day and those that followed — men and women who scrambled to combat an unfolding catastrophe, writes the JT Editorial Board.
- March 11 had enduring impacts on Japan, but they aren’t at all obvious, argues Brad Glosserman. He takes readers through the four stages that followed the disaster — shock, hope, confusion and anger — and outlines three lessons that can be taken from the triple calamity and its aftermath.
- A decade ago, Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue cats abandoned by neighbors who fled the radiation clouds belching from the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. He still hasn’t left. So far he has buried 23 cats in his garden, and he’s looking after 41 felines — and a dog — on his property. “I don’t want to leave. I like living in these mountains,” he tells Reuters.
- Local governments and experts are tackling the issue of isolation, which lies behind many mental health problems afflicting people in areas damaged on 3/11. The message is clear: Those who look well may not be. Attention needs to be paid to any sign of mental issues to prevent the condition from worsening.
- As reporters from across the world flocked to Japan, it was local journalists who were the first to arrive at the scene of the disaster and the last to leave. While progress has been made in the years since that fateful day, the road to recovery is far from over in the eyes of those who have been there every step of the way, writes Ryusei Takahashi.