Maui News

2 Year Anniversary of Japan Tsunami, Quake

March 11, 2013, 11:10 AM HST
* Updated March 11, 11:11 AM
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Tsunami effects at Kahului Harbor, March 11, 2011. By Wendy Osher.

Tsunami effects at Kahului Harbor, Maui, March 11, 2011.  Photo By Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Today marks the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that stuck Japan, killing thousands of people, and triggering concerns over a crippled nuclear plant in Fukushima.

The Japan government outlined plans moving forward saying a top priority is accelerating the “revitalization process”.

The government will focus on policies that benefit economic revival, reconstruction and crisis management, areas identified as the three main ‘pillars’ for enacting meaningful change.

Government officials say steady progress is being made in post-earthquake reconstruction. Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, some 470,000 people were evacuated, according to government records. Public or temporary housing was made available to the 320,000 people displaced.

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Tourist numbers have also been showing recovery. According to information released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Government of Japan, there were around 8.37 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2012, up from 6.22 million foreign visitors in 2011.

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In response to additional needs raised in the directly affected regions, the Japan government has also reportedly pledged to secure budgetary resources by 6 trillion yen to 25 trillion (about $266 billion US dollars) for the five year period beginning FY2011.

Here in Hawai’i, the after effects of the tsunami continue to be monitored.  One area of interest is the tsunami debris that continues to be reported in Hawaiian waters.  There have been at least six confirmed incidents and nearly 100 sightings of potential Japan Tsunami Marine Debris in Hawai’i, according to state Health officials who released a report last month.

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