Ceremonies have been held to mark the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north-east of Honshu, Japan’s main island, two years ago, in which more than 18,000 people were left dead or missing.
Emperor Akihito praised the stoicism of survivors, saying how little they complained, but more and more people are expressing frustration at the slow pace of reconstruction, as tens of thousands have not been able to return to their homes.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has made regular visits to the regions affected, pledged to try to speed things up , but a fierce debate continues over the future of nuclear power in Japan.
After the quake damaged the Fukushima nuclear power station, Japan’s 50 reactors were shut down, and only two have been re-opened. Mr Abe would like to get them running again, but on Sunday, thousands of people marched in Tokyo demanding an end to nuclear power.
(See also my blogs of 14 and 22 March, 1 April, 2011, and 5 Feb, 2012.)