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Live across Australia you are watching ABC News 24. It's watching ABC News 24. It's been

a year since Japan was struck

by a devastating earthquake and

Tsunami. The 9.0 magnitude

quake that triggered it all was

the most powerful ever to hit

the country and one of the top five strongest quakes since

modern record keeping began.

The Tsunami destroyed dozens of coastal communities leaving

19,000 people dead or 19,000 people dead or missing.

It also triggered meltdowns at

the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Residents living near the plant

have spent a year living have spent a year living in evacuation centres and

temporary housing. Over the

candlelight last day there have been

candlelight vigils and a

ceremonies leading up to the

moment that is Tsunami struck.

At 2:46 in the afternoon local time.

and time. It is now 2 o'clock there

and we will take you to a

special program from Japan's

Defying predictions that Tsunami caught coastal

nuclear accident went beyond communities offguard. The

what anyone had anticipated. 12 months ago people in Japan faced unprecedented threats.

Today they pause to reflect on what happened and what they've

learnt. This is ANHK world

special program, lessons of

March 11 one year Thousands of Thousands of earthquakes

shake Japan every year. People

are used to feeling them but no

one imagined what was one imagined what was building

up one year ago. What happened

at 2:46pm on March 112011 and

what followed changed

everything. We will show you

what people living in Japan what people living in Japan are

doing to mark that moment. We

will hear how the disaster

affected living in the hardest

hit prefectures, Iwate, Miyagi

and Fukushima. People in cities

and towns up and town the

Pacific coast have stories to

tell, stories of grief, fear

and hope. NHK world's

correspondent is in Japan. What

are people there doing one year

on. We have already seen many

people around town praying for

those who are lost. The tsunami

destroyed 60% of homes here and what you are witnessing behind what

me is the centre of town. The waves left parts of houses,

belongings of people belongings of people scattered

all over this area. Debris

still awaits to be taken away

being by the bay. Residents today are

being red Yea for a memorial service for those who died. You might

might be able to see the cars lined up trying to get to lined up trying to get to the venue

venue and we will all be doing

what people across Japan will

do - observe a moment do - observe a moment of silence

silence in about 40 minutes.

Thanks.Workers elsewhere still

have to deal with mountains of

rubble but the people who head

into Fukushima Daiichi everyday

are tackling something far more volatile.

volatile. What happened there

dispelled the national myth of

nuclear safety and prompted

some in this country to take

action. A crowd has gathered in Fukushima Fukushima prefecture in

protest.We are there .Tell us what are people up to? Gene, over 10,000 people some in

gathered in this baseball

stadium to protest the use of nuclear power. Fukushima stadium to protest the use of a

Daiichi is about 70 kilometres from here. We spoke to many protesters earlier. protesters earlier. One

59-year-old man told me he came

to this rally for the children

of the future. He says it is

his generation's responsibility

to phase out a nuclear reactor.

I will have more on what

protesters have to say later on

and will have the story of how the accident drove one mother

in this community to make a

different. For many those

moments one year ago are never

far away. What we are about to

show may upset some viewers.

Still we think it is important Still we think it is

to be reminded of the power of to be reminded of the power

nature and to prepare for disasters

disasters that might come. This

is what happened

At 2:46pm a magnitude earthquake strikes off north-eastern coast. The earthquake strikes off Japan's

country's largest tremors on

record.The earthquake triggered

a Tsunami.The waves started barrelling into shore. They

swelled to 10 metres high. More

than 20 in some places.They hit

shore in communities across north-eastern Japan and north-eastern Japan and they

kept going. The waves reached

almost 40 metres in some areas.

They smothered office

buildings, homes, people. More

than 15,000 died, more than 3,000 others are still listed

as missing. The earthquake and

Tsunami knocked out power Tsunami knocked out power at the nuclear complex at Fukushima Daiichi. systems

systems shut down and three Fukushima Daiichi. Cooling

reactors went into meltdown.

Hydrogen explosions released

radioactive material across the

region. Japan's nuclear safety

agency ranked the accident a 7,

international scale and the international the highest rank on the

worst since the explosion in

1986 at Chernobyl. Emergency

workers signed up from around

the world, volunteers came by

the thousands. Many of them

helped with the clean-up.

Environment ministry officials

more estimate the debris amounted to

more than 22 million tonnes.

One year later crews have

buried or incinerated only 6%

of the total. The wave swept on

estimated 3 million tonnes out

into the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists say some debris may

hit the US West Coast by hit the US West Coast by 2013.

The Japanese are burdened with

a long list of challenges a long list of challenges -

multibillion dollar cost of housing, jobs and the

reconstruction.Ministry of health officials say at health officials say at least 80% of the hospitals in the

area were damaged. Some of them still limit the number of patients

reconstruction. patients and kinds of treatment

they can offer. In some places

roads and railways have not

been rebuilt. Reconstruction

magscy officials say more than

340,000 people had to leave

their homes. Those people now

live in temporary housing or stay

stay with their relatives stay with their relatives so

there is a lot left undone.

Let's go back to our

correspondent.

A year ago people down there

saw the tsunami coming. saw the tsunami coming. Many

ran to higher ground, actually to

to where I am standing right

now. Some people made it to school now. Some people made it to the school over there. Those who

did not make it quite that far

though were clinging onto though were clinging onto this

fence right in front of me as

they saw the waves engulf their

town. The Tsunami killed 524 of

their neighbours, 273 others

were still considered missing.

Their families have moved

through a range of emotion over the past year. NHK world's correspondent correspondent has one father's

story. On a cold day in

February shows us the house where

where he once lived. There was a bathroom here and my son's

house was over there. A house

that sheltered generations of

his family. Now just

foundation. The man's son, who.

The March 11 Tsunami swept

through the house. He was a man

man with a house and a job at the local Government control centre helping with rescue operations. The water started

to fluten the three storey

building. The officials ran to

the roof.The Tsunami the roof.The Tsunami swallowed the stretcher whole. It swept a way

way the man and the others.

TRANSLATION: Noritaka was honest, sincere and modest. He

could be called courageous as

well.Noritaka wasn't even

supposed to be at the centre.

He was to be in the hills.He was supposed to be 234 was supposed to be 234 the

forest when the quake hit. He

descended immediately and went straight

straight to the control centre.

He wanted to help any way he

could. TRANSLATION: He probably

felt responsible as a town

official but I believe official but I believe he shouldn't have run toward the

Tsunami. Families Tsunami. Families search for any information on any information on the

whereabouts of the missing on

March 11.He gave up but he

still hopes to find his still hopes to find his son's

body. However, days have passed without

without any news.So in February

he made the difficult decision

to hold a funeral.He wanted to

honour his son ahead of honour his son ahead of the first anniversary first anniversary of his

disappearance. Noritaka's wife

put letters written to him put letters written to him in

an urn in place of his ashes.

The letters were written by his

children. TRANSLATION: How depressing, to honour my son depressing, to honour my son I

have to hold a funeral without

his ashes but if I don't I feel my my son cannot rest in peace. So

he said goodbye to his son but

he is still waiting for

closure. TRANSLATION: I am

hoping DNA tests identify my

son soon. I am expecting that

will happen. I cannot bear to think

think my son's body is lying

somewhere unattended. Like many

others in the north-east, he will

will continue to do what they

have done for months now -

wait. And perhaps reflect on

all that they lost one year

ago.

The Government decided last

June to issue death certificates

certificates even if relatives could

could not produce a body. That allowed families to receive

insurance payouts. The families of

of most of the missing have now applied for certificates,

however, in this place, about

15% still have not. So it's obvious some families aren't

giving up. What about

searching authorities? Police are still

searching for the missing, of

course. 60 officers here course. 60 officers here of

course carried out a five-day

mission that lasted into month. However, they found mission that lasted into this

nothing. That's how it has been

since January. Police have yet

to identify 458 bodies throughout the throughout the disaster-hit

area and they hope that DNA

testing will help. Let me ask

you another question. What is

day to Day lifelike for

been survivors? Well, obviously it's

been tough. Many families are

living in temporary housing. In

fact, on the school grounds

here right next to me are here right next to me are about

83 of them. The Tsunami also

swept away many businesses as

well. Some people say that the

waves took out the heart of waves took out the heart of the

community and, in fact, I followed

followed some shop owners who are trying

are trying to get their community back. It doesn't community back. It doesn't look

like much but this man has put

in a lot of time, energy and

money into his new fish store. TRANSLATION: I'm satisfied with having reached

our first target. Mudo was the

driving force behind this new

temporary shopping centre. His temporary shopping centre.

store and 29 others reopened

for business last month for business last month after

the tough year. He used to own

two stores and two factories.

The Tsunami washed them The Tsunami washed them away.

The waves took his home too.

Thousands of people lost their

homes. Mudo worried his town

would fall apart.He felt citizens

citizens needed a place to citizens needed a place to go, a

a community hub so he called on

shop owners he knew to work

together to build a new

shopping area. TRANSLATION: The

opening of a single store alone will

will not attract customers. We wanted to create a wanted to create a new

community, a place where people could pop in could pop in spontaneously. 20

shop owners could not raise

enough money. They dropped

suit. Mudo and the others asked

for more than $1 million in

help but the central and professional rejected their professional Governments

application. This is the final

decision from both levels of

Government. It mean they are rejects us. TRANSLATION: Are they

Government officials told him

end a temporary facility would only

end up being replaced by a

and permanent shopping area. Mudo

and the others faced dilemma -

quit or keep going? They

decided to take out individual loans and push on. TRANSLATION:

In a sense everybody In a sense everybody was forced

to make a commitment. Construction crews

started building in December. People and businesses from across Japan donated

refrigerators, air conditioners

and all kinds of equipment.Is (APPLAUSE)

Buildings that were destroyed

by the Tsunami still remain

standing but right next door is

the new shopping arcade that

opened at the end of

Shop owners started moving in.

Clothing stores, a butcher, Clothing stores, a butcher, a

florist.And a fish store.Mudo

is back in business. TRANSLATION: Everyone is shopping, they are gathering shopping, they are TRANSLATION: Everyone is here

also together. I hope the town can

also take a new step forward.

This is what shop owners have

hoped to create, a place for

their community to come together. TRANSLATION: The

project will face a real test

from now on. There is no

retreat. We are determined to keep moving forward. Having

followed Mudo through the year

I was overwhelmed by his

determination to keep moving

forward and people across

north-east Japan share that

that determination. One issue though

that they face is the that they face is the shop

owners have to return the pre-fabricated buildings they are borrowing within are borrowing within five years

and that means they have to

build new land, permanent stores themselves within

stores themselves within that time frame. So they will need a time

lot of help lot of help from administrations and the rest administrations and the rest of

us, in fact. Thanks. People in

the north-east have many obstacles in front of them.

Thousands have lost their jobs,

factory workers, tour operators, shopkeepers. Most of

the losses come from the backbone of many communities,

the fishing industry. The

people at Japan's fisheries agency said the Tsunami

destroyed about 300 ports and damaged

damaged more than 28,000 boats.

infrastructure to catch, The disaster all but erased the

process and transport seafood.

The estimated damage more than

$15 billion. The Government has

invested $10 billion to try to revive the industry. revive the industry. Still catches in major ports are only half

half of what they were a half of what they were a year

ago. Those who used to work in

the fishery and others who live alongside

alongside them can't figure out

what to do next. Some feel they

need to move on to something

new in order to make ends meet.

This man is looking for a job

in what he's always done. At 56

years old he has worked in fish

processing nearly all his life.

The Tsunami wiped out the plant

where he worked. He says the

job always gave him a strong

sense of purpose. TRANSLATION:

I think I really liked what I

was doing and looked forward to

work everyday. Each morning would wonder what kind of task work everyday. Each morning I would

was waiting for me. This was waiting for me. This was

Japan's third largest fishing port. People in 200 businesses

port. People in 200 different processed or transported businesses either caught,

seafood. The Tsunami washed

most of that away.This man as

returned over and again to this

employment centre but the only

job postings he seas are temporary, in construction. TRANSLATION: The way things are I probably won't be

be able to do anything for a

while. He and his wife sat nine months after the disaster while. He and his wife sat down

to

to discuss their options. They

decided they should pick up and start fresh somewhere else.

They will leave the city They will leave the city this spring when his unemployment

benefits expire. TRANSLATION: I

have lived my whole life here

idea and never been outside. The

idea of moving makes me

worried. I cannot imagine what

our future will be like. TRANSLATION: It is a big

dilemma for me. Even if I stay

here I can't make use of my

if decades of experience but even

if I move somewhere else I may have to take up a different

profession. People who are self employed are

are struggling too. They don't qualify for unemployment benefits. This woman ran a hair salon

salon out of this building along

along with her two employees.

She had the building reconstructed

reconstructed a year-and-a-half ago, just before the ago,

disaster. TRANSLATION: I lost everything. She used to everything. She used to live

here too with her six-year-old

son. She was left with a loan

of about $180,000. She had

planned to repay it over

years. She lost her income. She of

wanted to rebuild but if she

took out another loan her

monthly payments would double

to about $2,000. She made some

phone calls to see if she could get any help. TRANSLATION: The took get any help. TRANSLATION: The

building where I lived and worked was completely

destroyed. I'm left with a

of 15 million yen. She was referred to another People referred to another office.

People there said they couldn't

help her with her problem.

Still, she learned the Japanese

Government was working on a

program to assist program with a

a double burden of debt. a double burden of debt. The application application procedure would

take a long time. She couldn't

wait, she needed help right

away. She took the new loan and bought

bought a piece of land far from

the ocean where she will live

and set up shop. TRANSLATION: I

am just taking a big risk.

Because if I don't do anything

nothing will happen. Still, she is anxious about whether she

will be able to meet her loan

obligations. A double burden after a year full of them.

Many survivors share those anxieties. A Government survey

suggests about 40% of them have difficulties sleeping. The

percentage who say they are

depressed is higher than the national average. national

survivors feel compelled to

help others. NHK world's

correspondent has that story.

This man was on the waves when they

they spilled over Ofunato. Many

friends and neighbours weren't

as fortunate. He is to as fortunate. He is determined

to help those who survived.He delivers packaged meals to

those in need three times a

week. The average age of the

people he visits - 75.

TRANSLATION: I feel that we

have to do something for them.

After all, we are from the same

town. I would be happy if I can cheer up grand pass and grandmas from my home town. On this

this day he visited a woman

whose home was washed away whose home was washed away from

the Tsunami. This woman lives

in a housing complex provided

by the city. She struggles to

do the things most people do the things most people do everyday. She is 87, almost completely blind. TRANSLATION:

I'm embarrassed to say this I'm embarrassed to say this but

I cannot even take a bath without someone's help. She lost

lost most of her family in lost most of her family in the

Tsunami.So she stays inside all

day without speaking to anyone. TRANSLATION: Sometimes

I feel I'm about to go crazy.

Why is it that I have to live like this at such an advanced age. I'm age.

six friends visit 120 people

during their rounds. Most of those people live alone.

Doctors sigh they are seeing

more and more elderly more

Psychiatrists are too. Over the

past fear knive elderly

survivors have died survivors have died in temporary housing temporary housing alone. TRANSLATION: We are a small group

group so there is limits to

what we can do. Still, we're

determined not to let anyof the

people we are looking after - any of the people we are

looking after pass away alone.

He says men are particularly vulnerable. Many have trouble making

making new friends. Many have difficulty expressing what

difficulty expressing what they

feel. Many are too proud to ask

for help. This man is 72. He

also lost his home in the

disaster. He says he doesn't

feel like doing anything so disaster. feel like doing anything so he

stays in his room and eats

alone.He doesn't even have gas

to keep it warm. TRANSLATION: I

have tonnes of problems here

but I guess this is only expected. They lost confidence

in themselves after losing

their jobs because of the

Tsunami for example. So they

shut themselves up in their

homes. I want to do something

about it. I'm not able to make

a difference and I feel a bit

frustrated.Kino hears of more

and more people every week and more people every week who

need his help. Fewer and volunteers need his help. Fewer and fewer volunteers have the time and

Kino doesn't know how long Kino doesn't know how long they

can go on.

The group faces a challenge

faced by many in the region - a shortage

shortage of funds. This person

is in charge of fundraising for the group

the group and she joins us now.

We will be speaking in Japanese and will provide simultaneous translation. Thank you for

joining us. Thank you joining us. Thank you for

having me. We've heard the

number of volunteers is on the

decline, what is the situation

on the ground. First of all I

would like to thank people in the

the world and Japan for their support

support in the past 12 months. We

We were able to deliver a total

of 190,000 package meals. We

are grateful for your

support. Now that one year has

passed many people may think

that there are no more needs for volunteers, are for volunteers, however, there

are much needs here. So I do

hope that more people will

come. But it seems that the

people are relick tant so we do

hope that they will continue to

come. At the end of this month

free toll service and lodging

will no longer be available so we're afraid that less people

would be coming to help. It

takes three hours for some of

our staff to come to our office our

and it is because of the and it is because of the small number of people we are

reaching the limit. It must be

hard to give personalised

support to hard survivors with differing needs.

What do you think is necessary to make your work

sustainable? I think our

commitment isn't enough. It is going to take decades for us going to take decades for us to

rebuild so we need financial

resources. We operate three delivery trucks and so we have

to pay for the gasoline, for

the 50 kilometres to make rounds and also fuel rounds and also fuel cost.

There are some elderly people

who have to drive 15 kilometres just

just too reach a supermarket and

and others who lost their car

have to wait for infrequent bus services. They are really

having a hard time. Without help

help and donation we will not

be able to sustain or

activities so please don't

forget us. Please don't forget the affected areas and continue your support. Thank you. People

who live near nuclear plants have

have their own worries. Many have their own worries. Many of

those worries were confirmed

when the reactor one building at Fukushima Daiichi exploded. The crisis there reignited debate The crisis there reignited the debate here and elsewhere over

nuclear power and pushed the people across the country to

protest. Let's back to our

correspondent at a rally. As I mentioned over 10,000 people

have packed into this baseball

stadium. The rally started

about two hours ago. Earlier we

heard a poetry reading by one

participant. The poem was

written by a resident of Fukushima.

Fukushima. It was about the determination

determination of the people to continue living here in Fukushima even though the land

is contaminated by radiation.

As you know, protests in Japan were

were common before the nuclear disaster disaster but now we are seeing many rallies like this. Nuclear

safety has galvanised public

opinion . Many people here and

in other places are standing up

and shouting out. I met one

resident who says she hadn't

given nuclear power a second

thought until one year ago.

Before the nuclear accident this

children. Her 12-year-old this woman was busy raising her

daughter and her six-year-old son. They have spent most son. They have spent most of their lives here. TRANSLATION:

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't

even know there was a nuclear

power plant in Fukushima before

the accident. What happened on

March 11th and the weeks that followed, changed her

significantly. Like millions of parents across Japan she was

afraid of what radiation might

do to her children. Her fears prompted her to act.

TRANSLATION: I was scared. TRANSLATION:

wanted to get accurate wanted to get

information in order to protect

my kids. She met with other parents in her town and formed

a citizens group last June.

They now have 30 members. The

group's first project was to make sure their children's

school lunches are safe . They

convince their local Government

to install radiation detection devices

devices at two centres where the food is the food is made. TRANSLATION:

I learned nothing will change

unless people speak up to the

local Government. She and her

group are continuing to up. They are using a website to group are continuing to speak

attract new members. attract new members. Noguchi

designed it even though before

March 11 her computer skills

were limited. It is all part of