Accessibility links

Breaking News

Japan - One Year Later

This combination of pictures shows local residents looking at a tsunami-hit area of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture on March 12, 2011 (top) and the same area on January 11, 2012 (bottom).

On March 11, 2011 Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake, which triggered a tsunami that measured as high as 10 meters in some places. The twin disasters left almost 20,000 people dead, more than a quarter of a million buildings destroyed, and nearly 400,000 people homeless.

Following the quake and tsunami, Japan also dealt with a damaged nuclear power complex. The tsunami swamped the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, causing three reactors to melt down. Radiation spread over farmland, distant communities and into the sea.

How is Japan doing a year later? VOA revisits the country and seeks answers in this series of reports.

Read VOA correspondent Steve Herman's reflections

Steve Herman videotaping on the perimeter of the 20km radiation exclusion zone in Fukushima prefecture, March 6, 2012. (VOA - Tsuki Kage)