Japan marks 8th anniversary of tsunami, earthquake (Source: Kyodo)

Memorial services were held in Tokyo and north-eastern Japan for about 18,500 people who were killed after the tsunami triggered by an earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale which devastated the region on March 11th, 2011.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, lawmakers and family members who lost loved ones in the disaster bowed their heads in prayer at a ceremony in Tokyo at 14h46 local time, the exact moment the quake struck.

“Even now, 14,000 people are enduring protracted, inconvenient lives in such places as temporary housing,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the memorial service.

“We will provide seamless support… and accelerate reconstruction”, he added.

On March 10th, a number of lit candles were placed on the field at the J-Village national soccer training center, which straddles the towns of Naraha and Hirono in Fukushima Prefecture.

On the holders of the candles were messages, including one that read, “I’ll never forget that day,” and another wishing for the reconstruction of Fukushima.

The earthquake, strucked north of the Japanese capital, unleashing a tsunami that engulfed large swathes of the Pacific coast and caused the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years./.

Compiled by BTA