On March 11, three years after the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, a man was visiting a memorial monument in Ukedo in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, to pray for the victims of the disaster at 2:46 p.m., the time when the earthquake struck the area. Chimneys of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, some 6 km away from the monument, can be seen standing in the distance.
Ukedo still remains designated as an evacuation zone after the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, restricting people from entering or living in the area, hampering restoration from the disaster. In the nearby fields, which used to be rice paddies, a wrecked fishing boat and other debris carried inland by the tsunami are left uncleared. Junsuke Shimizu, 76, a farmer from Namie who visited the memorial, expressed his strong will to never give up carrying on his rice paddies handed down from ancestors.
(March 12, 2014)