Japan marks third anniversary of quake-tsunami disaster

Associated Press
A man offers prayers in front of the main entrance of Okawa Elementary School where 74 of the 108 students went missing after the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Japan on Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed 15,884 people and left more than 2,600 unaccounted for in vast areas of its northern coast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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Japan observed a moment of silence Tuesday to mark the third anniversary of the quake-tsunami disaster which swept away thousands of victims, destroyed coastal communities, and sparked the nuclear emergency that forced a re-think on atomic power.

Survivors bowed deeply and joined hands at remembrance ceremonies in towns and cities around the disaster zone and in Tokyo, where Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko led tributes to those who died in Japan's worst peace-time disaster. (AFP)

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