A Japanese flag damaged in the tsunami

A Japanese flag damaged in the tsunami (Source: Sankei)

Today was the 100th day on from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and as Mainichi reported, the scars are still fresh:

Great East Japan Earthquake:100 days on – “Still a hole in our hearts” – Memorial services in Higashi-Matsuyama and Ishinomaki

June 18th marks the 100th day since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the occasion was marked with memorial services within the disaster zone.

Higashi Matsuyama in Miyagi Prefecture, with 1038 fatalities and 147 people still unaccounted for (as of June 11th), held a join memorial service at the Air Self-Defense Force base within the city. Around 3000 people attended the service in silent prayer.

66-year old Katsuo Izumi, who lost his wife and mother, told the gathered bereaved, “Our bodies may be recovering, but a large hole remains in our hearts. However, those who were left behind must make it their mission to live with all their might.”

Following this, the attendees laid flowers at the altar, holding each other’s hands.

In Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which has over 5,800 people either dead or missing, held its memorial service at a tent set-up in the City Sports Park with around 2,500 bereaved and officials in attendance.

Representing the bereaved, Yoshihiro Ishikawa (41), who lost his father, Shigeo (74), mother, Mitsu (71) and eldest son, Takuya (12), told the crowd: “I lost my parents and son to this nightmarish tsunami. 3 months have passed, but the wound in my heart will never heal in my lifetime.” [by Akira Matsumoto, Tadao Ishikawa]

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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch