Two years ago today, the biggest earthquake in Japan's history triggered a tsunami that covered a total area of approximately 561 km2 (217 2 mi) and devastated the Tohoku region. 15,881 died, 6,142 were injured, and 2,668 people were reported missing. 129,225 buildings totally collapsed, 254,204 buildings were damaged beyond repair, and another 691,766 buildings were partially damaged.
Nearly 150,000 Fukushima Prefecture residents are still displaced following the disaster at the Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and they still don't know when they will be able to return - if at all. Understandably, quite a few people in Japan aren't that keen to have the nuclear power plants switched back on, including the 100,0o0 or so that took to the streets of Tokyo yesterday to protest against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-nuclear stance.
He won't listen, naturally. Not only does he want all the nuclear reactors restarted, he wants to build more and export nuclear technology to other countries. Who cares about major nuclear incidents when there's money to be made?
Well, I'm guessing a fair few of the aforementioned 150,000 might care a bit. Not to mention people living not too far from Fukushima or other nuclear power stations. Or parents like me. Or other citizens. Just not politicians, it seems.
So as we mark the second anniversary of the disaster, let's spare a thought for those who lost their lives, their relatives, their homes or their businesses. Let's hope politicians do the same, and hope they start removing some of the bureaucracy that has seen redevelopment funds tied up, and people left in limbo.
This post also appears on my other site, storm from the east.