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Ken Watanabe in Tohoku right after the disaster

NHK WORLD – JAPAN Presents “3.11 – Ten Years On”

Programme is to Commemorate 10-Year Anniversary of the Largest Earthquake Ever Recorded in Japan

The international service of Japan’s sole public broadcaster announced it will present a collection of premiere and encore programming to mark the 10-year anniversary the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, which spurred a tsunami, a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and mass destruction along Japan’s east coast. The programming event airs throughout March and April.

This exceptional compendium of programs serves as a compelling reminder—and cautionary tale— around the unprecedented mega-disaster, and captures the magnitude and emotions surrounding its occurrence and aftermath. The programs depict the ways in which the tragedy has affected the people of Japan, exploring their first-hand experiences, as well as their resilience and resolution to rebuild their country in ways that make it even stronger. Descriptions of all programs in “3.11 – 10 Years On” are available on this special web page

Among the international broadcast premieres in “3.11 – 10 Years On” is Ken Watanabe – A Copassionate View: The Decade Since the Great East Japan Earthquake. One of Japan’s most respected and well-known actors, Watanabe used his notoriety to bring international attention to the disaster, and during the past decade has listened to the stories of more than 20,000 people. The documentary follows Watanabe as he visits four communities most affected by the disaster— Katsurao (Fukushima), Kesennuma (Miyagi), Rikuzentakata (Iwate), and Kamaishi (Iwate)— and gets to know its victims. The program airs Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6

Another international premiere,Generation March 11: Their 10-Years Journey, tells the stories and follows the progress of the lives of children born in the disaster areas. Part of the anniversary programming is also a new documentary on one of Japan’s most prolific and award-winning stop- motion animation artists, Tomoyasu Murata, and his work commemorating the victims of the disaster, broadcast as a special edition of the Anime Supernova series.

The collection “3.11 – 10 Years On” also offers another chance to watch 3/11-The Tsunami, a two-part documentary that made its international broadcast premiere in January 2021.

The series combines footage from NHK camera crews with mobile phone and other video captured by citizens who were on scene during and after the earthquake and tsunami, and the country’s recovery efforts of the following year.

More information on the programmes part of “3.11 – 10 Years On” including multilingual videos (Burmese, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese) can be found at

*Photo – Ken Watanabe in Tohoku right after the disaster. Courtesy of NHK World