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Japan

As Japan Honors Tsunami Victims, Fukushima Residents File Lawsuit

JAPAN TIMES, ASAHI SHIMBUN (Japan) AFP

Worldcrunch

TOKYO – On Monday, Japan honored the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that killed nearly 19,000 people two years ago.

At 2:46 p.m. on March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck northeast Japan, triggering a tsunami with 30-meter high waves that wiped out entire communities.

A total of 15,881 people are confirmed to have died in the disaster, with 2,668 others still unaccounted for, reports the AFP.

The triple disaster also left more than 315,000 people homeless, including almost 157,000 people forced to evacuate the region around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Two years later, almost all the evacuees still live in temporary housing and many of the people who fled the Fukushima evacuation zone will never be able to return, according to the Japan Times.

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Reactors 1 to 4, days after the Tsunami (digital globe)

Two years on, reports the Asahi Shimbun, firefighters are still searching for bodies in the coastal regions where the tsunami hit. They have been searching for human remains almost every day since the tsunami swept, even though the last time a body was discovered was in June 2012.

On Sunday, around 40,000 people protested in Tokyo, asking the Japanese government to halt nuclear power, reports the Asahi Shimbun. Almost 300 such protests were organized around the country.

On Monday, about 800 survivors of the Fukushima nuclear crisis filed a class-action suit with the Fukushima District Court, demanding $520 a month from the government and TEPCO until the region contaminated by radioactive fallout is restored, said the AFP. The plaintiffs are from Fukushima and neighboring regions – the evacuation zone includes 11 towns and extends up to 45 kilometers from the plant, according to the Japan Times.

Nearly 10,000 aftershocks have been registered since the March 11 quake.

Video in English: Press Conferenceby PM Abe to commemorate the 2nd Anniversary of the GreatEast Japan Earthquake nettv.gov-online.go.jp/eng/prg/prg317…

— PM's Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) March 11, 2013

Exactly 2 years ago, a terrible earthquake hit Japan. I look back at the events in this post > buff.ly/YmM3YEtwitter.com/dannychoo/stat…

— Danny Choo / ダニー・ãƒ�ュー (@dannychoo) March 11, 2013

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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