Japan is paying tribute to the nearly 20,000 victims of a powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeast of the country 10 years ago, destroying towns and triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga were expected to join a memorial for the dead at a commemorative ceremony in Tokyo on Thursday, while several other public and private events were planned across northeastern Japan.
A minute’s silence will be marked nationwide at 14.46 local time (05:46 GMT), the precise moment the 9.0-magnitude quake struck on March 11, 2011.
The onslaught of waves triggered by the tremor crashed into the northeastern coast, crippling the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. More than 160,000 residents were forced to evacuate as radiation spewed into the air.