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Highlighting JAPAN

March 2016

Five Years Down the Road to Reconstruction

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PRIME MINISTER'S DIARY
- 2016 National Rally to Demand the Return of the Northern Territories
- Courtesy Call by Individuals Involved in the Production of Aizu Homare in Fukushima Pref.
- Japan-Palestine Summit Meeting and Courtesy Call from the Participants in the Middle East Peace Project in Shizuoka

COVER STORY
Five Years Down the Road to Reconstruction

FEATURES

Tohoku - A Vision of Restoration

Five years after the disaster of the Great East Japan Earthquake, how has Tohoku rebuilt itself, and what issues does the region still face? To find out, we spoke with Vice Minister Masakatsu Okamoto of the Reconstruction Agency, a government organ created to administer the reconstruction process following the earthquake.

Making Headway in Tohoku: Disaster and Recovery

These graphs, maps and photos show Tohoku's journey to recovery from immediately after the earthquake until the present day, including data on evacuees, evacuation zones and how the region's tourism has fared.

Healing the Soil

Following the nuclear reactor accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, agricultural products from Fukushima suffered a devastating blow to their reputation. What is the status of these products' safety now?

Back on Track

Despite suffering massive damage in the 2011 disaster, the Sanriku Railway Company swiftly restored its services and has become a pillar of support for survivors. The railway symbolizes the route from ruin to recovery, and is proactively pursuing a range of initiatives to boost both ridership and disaster awareness.

Dedicated Assistance

Like many foreign residents in Japan, two former JET Programme participants have been working hard to help Tohoku recover from the devastation of the 2011 catastrophe, volunteering in various roles in their respective communities in Iwate Prefecture.

Fallow Fields No Longer

The Tohoku Cotton Project employs the creative thinking typical of the apparel industry to support local farmers in the tsunami-stricken regions by repurposing fallow rice fields to produce cotton and cotton goods.

Hope Blossoms

Symbols have a powerful effect on the human spirit, and the living symbol of a cherry tree that survived the tsunami after the Great East Japan Earthquake inspired one man to plant others to hearten communities shattered by the disaster.

The Power of Play

Established a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the NPO Playground of Hope is creating spaces and chances for children to play, knowing that play is crucial to their health and social development - and providing some healing for their communities in the process.

SERIES

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
A Clear Look into the Depths

Okamoto glass, which built a glass sphere that can withstand pressure of 800 atm for the Edokko-1, an unmanned submersible developed with various Japanese small and medium enterprises, successfully developed a glass sphere capable of enduring 1,200 atm, equivalent to the fullest depths of the sea.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Easy Call

From Sri Lanka to Japan to the world, Sujeewa Wijayanayake talks about how baseball brings people together, makes the world a better place, and has transformed his own life.

WOMEN IN THE LEAD
Moments of Inspiration and Beauty

Mai Mukaida - founder and president of the Coffret Project and Lalitpur - has encouraged thousands of women to discover and pursue life's beautiful moments. As she works to produce high-quality organic cosmetics in Nepal, Mukaida also seeks to instill a sense of confidence in Nepalese women.

DELECTABLE JOURNEYS
Japan's Fiery, Flavorful Root - Wasabi

Wasabi is Japan's signature condiment. There is no substitute for the pleasurable burn on your palate of the grated goodness of this herb.