Japan is marking the second anniversary of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that claimed nearly 19,000 lives and caused the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The government will host a national ceremony in Tokyo Monday, attended by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. And, the entire nation will observe a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. , when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck on March 11, 2011 off the northeastern Pacific coast.
Anti-nuclear demonstrations are also planned across Japan to call on the country to abandon nuclear power generation.
The quake triggered a killer tsunami that swallowed coastal communities, battered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing.
Efforts to rebuild the disaster-hit region have been slow. Figures show more than 300,000 people are still without a permanent home, many in cramped temporary housing units.