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The earthquake off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 was one of the biggest recorded, measuring 9 on the richter scale.
It was the resulting tsunami, however, that caused the most destruction. It devastated the northeast of Japan, leaving many thousands dead or missing, and hundreds of thousands homeless or evacuated from the area.
In addition, various power generators failed. Some older nuclear power stations risked meltdown and suffered explosions and radioactive leaks. Workers have battled for weeks to try and bring the situation under control. Radioactive material has been detected in various places.
It is thought that the cost of the earthquake and tsunami could be over $300 billion — the world’s most expensive natural disaster on record.
There are global economic repercussions as well, given Japan’s key position in the world economy.
There are so many issues that this tragic event has caused that I can’t cover them on my own. However, below are a list of stories from Inter Press Service as they cover this event and its aftermath:
Thursday, September 08, 2016
HONOLULU, Hawaii, Sep 08 (IPS) - Japan and South Africa have ignited a furore at a major conservation congress by coming out against a proposed appeal to all governments to ban domestic trade in elephant ivory.
Monday, August 10, 2015
NEW YORK, Aug 10 (IPS) - Protesters rallied outside Japan's Sendai nuclear plant a day ahead of its planned opening and four years after the Fukushima disaster galvanised opposition to nuclear power in the country.
Monday, July 14, 2014
TOKYO, Jul 14 (IPS) - In recent years, Japan has found itself it in a rapidly changing security environment. The global balance of power has shifted and various new threats have emerged within the region, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile systems that may soon be capable of delivering them.
Monday, July 07, 2014
WASHINGTON, Jul 07 (IPS) - Japan has functioned under its "peace constitution" for nearly 70 years. The distinctive Article 9, which prevents the country from conducting war as a means of resolving international conflict, is showing its age.
Friday, June 20, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 20 (IPS) - It has been three years since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. But the consequences are still ongoing due to continuous leaks of radioactivity into the environment, says independent nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider.
Monday, June 02, 2014
TOKYO, Jun 02 (IPS) - Undaunted by Japan's national consensus to boost the economy, which has been mired in lackluster growth for decades, environmentalists are taking baby steps towards incorporating climate change into national legislation.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
TOKYO, Apr 23 (IPS) - Desperate for more workers to support a construction boom, Japan has proposed to expand its controversial foreign trainee programme to permit more unskilled labour from Asia to work in Japanese companies for five years from the current three years.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
NEW DELHI, Feb 01 (IPS) - Activists opposed to India's plans to massively increase civilian nuclear power production are aghast that a plan for an Indo-Japanese nuclear cooperation deal is gaining pace even while Japan is struggling to cope with the fallout of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
MANILA, Jan 18 (IPS) - In a move that promises to further raise geopolitical tensions in the region, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a high-profile visit to the Yasukuni Shrine associated with 14 Class-A war criminals and dedicated to 2.5 million soldiers from the Japanese Imperial era.
Friday, November 15, 2013
WARSAW, Nov 15 (IPS) - Japan announced Friday that it will renege on its carbon emissions pledge, likely ending any hope global warming can be kept to 2.0 degrees C.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
TOKYO, Oct 15 (IPS) - Two and a half years ago, Ayako Oga, now 30, found herself helpless as an earthquake and the tsunami it triggered hit Japan and crippled four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. She and her husband were forced to abandon their village Ookuma Machi, barely five kilometres away.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
TOKYO, Jul 30 (IPS) - Life for Yoshihiro Watanabe and his wife Mutsuko, mushroom and rice farmers from Fukushima, has changed drastically since the disastrous meltdowns in the Dai Ichi nuclear plant that was hit by a massive tsunami after a 9.0 strong earthquake struck on Mar. 11, 2011.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
TOKYO, Jul 18 (IPS) - Efforts to protect the critically endangered Iriomote wildcat, a spotted, shy, feral creature native to the tiny Iriomote Island that forms part of the Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan, are becoming a highly respected model of conservation here, where the government's uneven track record in protecting imperiled species has frustrated wildlife activists for decades.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
TOKYO, Jun 26 (IPS) - Yukako Harada, an energetic 29-year-old, is part of a small but determined band of women farmers working hard to revitalise Japan's moribund agricultural sector, which is feeling the crunch of an ageing population and a flood of cheap imports.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Jun 04 (IPS) - Acutely aware of China's strong presence in resource-rich Africa, Japan, the world's third largest economy, is beefing up its relations with the continent. Participants at a high-level donor conference hosted by Japan this week stressed the need for closer engagement, not through the traditional grants and assistance loans that have hitherto defined the relationship, but rather through trade and investment led by the Japanese private sector.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
TOKYO, May 01 (IPS) - As Japan slips from its former top spot as the world's biggest donor, experts here are worried about long-term changes in the country's development assistance programme, which has played a crucial role in global poverty reduction efforts.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
MINAMISANRIKU, Japan, Mar 19 (IPS) - As a survivor of Japan's deadliest tsunami in living memory, Shun Ito dedicates his mornings to evoking stories of heroism that helped to save lives in this port town that was decimated on that fateful March afternoon two years ago.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 12 (IPS) - Two years after Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the country faces 100 to 250 billion dollars in cleanup and compensation costs, tens of thousands of displaced people and widespread impacts of radiation.
Monday, March 11, 2013
TOKYO, Mar 11 (IPS) - Japan has promised to scrap the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors that faced the world's worst nuclear accident. But Hiroyuki Watanabe, councillor in Iwaki City located 30 kilometres from the accident site, greets such intentions on the second anniversary of the disaster on Monday with misgiving.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
TOKYO, Mar 10 (IPS) - Japan prepares to mark the second anniversary of the Mar. 11 triple disaster - an earthquake, tsunami and a critical nuclear reactor accident - with much soul searching across the country.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
TOKYO, Mar 02 (IPS) - After two decades of economic stagnation and serial natural disasters, a growing number of young Japanese believe social entrepreneurship is the best way to rebuild their society.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
TOKYO, Jan 31 (IPS) - Despite anti-discrimination laws and a steadily growing number of employed women, Japan is falling behind the rest of the world on gender equality. Widespread discrimination persists, and has only grown more subtle over the past years.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
TOKYO, Dic 18 (IPS) - The return to power of Japan's conservative and hard-line Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Sunday indicates that voters traded urgently needed social and environmental reforms for traditional male-led leadership, according to analysts here.
Monday, December 10, 2012
TOKYO, Dic 10 (IPS) - When Hiroko Taguchi retired this past April, at the age of 64, from her job as an insurance sales agent, she joined the rapidly growing ranks of Japan's aging women who now outnumber their male counterparts.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 (IPS) - For the former industrial engineer Yastel Yamada, retirement has not meant he can finally stop working. Instead, the 73-year-old and about 700 other skilled seniors across Japan have volunteered to tackle the most dangerous part of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant cleanup and spare a younger generation from the effects of extreme radiation.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
DOHA, Oct 25 (IPS) - Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors, the manager of the water treatment team has said.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
TOKYO, Aug 28 (IPS) - Renewable energy is emerging as the “clinch deal” in Japan`s painful power crisis that pits the government and business against public demand for zero nuclear power. But experts say the going is easier said than done.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Japan’s plan to resume official development assistance (ODA) to Myanmar, announced this week, is problematic for a country faced with a dauntingly large disaster recovery budget for areas hit by the earthquake and tsunami last year.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Devastating as the Tohoku earthquake was it gave the local women of the remote region an opportunity to come into their own and take on leadership roles in an essentially patriarchal country.
Monday, March 05, 2012
The arrest and release of a Dutch activist in Japan has put in bad light this country’s refusal to heed international calls to limit traditional dolphin and whale hunting practices in favour of conservation.