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Published:March 11th, 2013 11:47 EST

(Video) Japan Still Recovering Two Years After Earthquake

By John Pustelnik

Japan is still recovering from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck two years ago on March 11th, 2011.


The earthquake also caused a tsunami to hit Japan, causing one of Fukushima`s power plants to meltdown, resulting in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

The earthquake and tsunami combined killed over 15,000 people.

Various memorial observances around Japan were held on Monday, 2:46 p.m on March 11th, the exact time the earthquake struck two years ago.

"I pray that the peaceful lives of those affected can resume as soon as possible," said emperor Akihito at a memorial service in Tokyo.

On Monday, a group of 800 people from Fukushima filed a lawsuit against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the owner of the power plant that melted down. The group is demanding an apology payment of 50,000 yen (about 520 U.S. dollars) a month until all of the radiation is wiped out completely, something that may never happen in their lives.

There have yet to be any cases of cancer caused by the radiation.

Shinzo Abe took office as Japan`s prime minster in December of 2012, and has made frequent trips to areas heavily impacted by the disaster since then. He plans to increase the reconstruction aid from 19 trillion yen (about 198 billion U.S. dollars) to 25 trillion yen (about 260 billion U.S. dollars).

"We must speed up the reconstruction effort for the survivors who are living with heart and soul," said Abe at a memorial service. "I believe that would be a way to serve justice for the perished, whose spirits are looking after us from heaven."

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