Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Japan's Great Wave — Five Years Later

Five years ago the tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast and wrecked the Fukushima nuclear power plant also erased Charles Pomeroy's house in Otsuchi and killed his sister-in-law and her husband. Her remains were not identified until August 2011; his have never been found. Pomeroy, a former reporter, wrote an interesting book about the town to which he and his wife had retired ten years before the disaster, a book I reviewed in November 2015.

Five years on, Pomeroy has written an article for No. 1 Shimbun, a publication of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan that updates the story. Otsuchi is struggling. "After losing almost 10 percent of its 15,239 citizens to the tsunami (one of the largest losses among the affected towns), Otsuchi’s population continues to drop . . . Today, Otsuchi has become a town occupied mostly by retirees and transient workers."

An interesting piece that describes the tensions between residents and the local government, the local government and the national government. I commend it to your attention.

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