One year after north-east Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami, Japanese citizens have held ceremonies to remember the dead. NBC's Ian Williams travelled to one of the worst-hit towns to see how life is gradually returning to normal.
A group from Otsuchi town in Iwate Prefecture, the worst hit by the disaster, perform a Tiger Dance at the Japanese Embassy in London. The Fukokai Society lost many of its members, including its chairman and many of its props were destroyed.
The Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Keiichi Hayashi, invoked the words of Winston Churchill to describe how his country will "never give in" in the face of the monumental rebuilding effort one year after the tsunami hit.
My thoughts are with our friends in Japan, mourning loved ones and rebuilding livelihoods, one year on
Japan's Prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda and Emperor Akihito have spoken of the terrible events of a year ago and promised to emerge from the crisis even stronger.
– YOSHIHIKO NODA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER
A year has passed since the Great East Japan Disaster but it is still unbearable to think of the pain of the survivors and the despair of families who's loved ones have passed away. Our forebears who built this country's prosperity have emerged from each crisis even stronger. We will fulfill our historic mission of realizing the rebirth of this nation through reconstruction while holding hands with people in the disaster affected regions and being close to them.
– JAPANESE EMPEROR AKIHITO
I would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank the people who helped the victims and those in the disaster zones, and those that helped deal with the nuclear crisis. It is important that we do not forget the memories of this big earthquake and pass them onto our descendants, so that readiness for natural disasters is fostered and we can make progress towards building a safer country.
Japan held a minute's silence for the thousands of people killed exactly one year ago today in a devastating earthquake and the resulting Tsunami.
The main memorial service was in Tokyo and was attended by Japan's Emperor Akihito and prime minister Yoshihiko Noda. But dozens of communities hit by the terrifying tsunami also stopped to remember the dead and missing.
The quake that measured 9 on the Richter scale struck at 05.46 British time and 14.46 local time on March 11th 2011. Half an hour later the 75 foot Tsunami ripped through coastal towns and villages leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Japan marked the anniversary of the deadly earthquake and tsunami with one minute of silence across the country.
Bells sounded and prayers were said for the thousands of lives lost
Anti-nuclear protesters gathered outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) in the country's capital on Sunday, as it marks the first anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Protestors claim that TEPCO's negligence was responsible for the leakage of radiation from the plant that led to the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.