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A worker operates a digger as he stacks (Credit: Getty Images)

A worker operates a digger as he stacks debris collected from last year's tsunami in Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

Japan: One year later

One year after an earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people in northeastern Japan and set off the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, the recovery and rebuilding process continues.

In this combination photo, a Japanese survivor of
(Credit: AP)

In this combination photo, a Japanese survivor of the earthquake and tsunami rides his bicycle through the leveled city of Minamisanriku, Japan, on March 15, 2011, top, and a car drives through the same spot on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012.

In this combination photo, Japanese residents of Kesennuma,
(Credit: AP)

In this combination photo, Japanese residents of Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, pass through a road that was cleared by bulldozer through the ruins of the city on March 17, 2011, six days after the tsunami, top, and people cross the same street on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012.

In this combination photo, Tayo Kitamura, 40, kneels
(Credit: AP)

In this combination photo, Tayo Kitamura, 40, kneels in the street to caress and talk to the wrapped body of her mother Kuniko Kitamura, 69, after Japanese firemen discovered the dead body in the ruins of her home in Onagawa, Japan, on March 19, 2011, top, and a newly built home sits at the site of the now-cleared but destroyed area on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. A few homes have been rebuilt in the year since an earthquake and tsunami roared across Japan's coastline, but most communities remain unrecognizable, and their residents' futures uncertain.

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A car washed up on the roof of
(Credit: Getty Images)

A car washed up on the roof of a building is seen out of a window during a bus tour to learn about the effects of last year's March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture in northeastern Japan. (March 5, 2012)

An employee works at a gas station damaged
(Credit: AP)

An employee works at a gas station damaged by the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Saturday. (March 3, 2012)

Flowers lie at the base of a memorial
(Credit: Getty Images)

Flowers lie at the base of a memorial for those killed by last year's tsunami in Japan. (March 2, 2012)

Workers from a power company repair damaged power
(Credit: Getty Images)

Workers from a power company repair damaged power lines in an area affected by last year's tsunami in the Yuriage area of Natori, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

Chairs are strewn in a classroom of the
(Credit: Getty Images)

Chairs are strewn in a classroom of the Kadonowaki Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

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Cars salvaged from last year's tsunami are piled
(Credit: Getty Images)

Cars salvaged from last year's tsunami are piled up, waiting for owners to come and claim them, in Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

A lone apartment block stands in a neighborhood
(Credit: Getty Images)

A lone apartment block stands in a neighborhood ravaged by last year's tsunami in Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

A worker operates a digger as he stacks
(Credit: Getty Images)

A worker operates a digger as he stacks debris collected from last year's tsunami in Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

A man crouches down to pray in front
(Credit: Getty Images)

A man crouches down to pray in front of a makeshift shrine for the victims from the Okowa Elementary School killed in last years tsunami near Ishinomaki, Japan. Of the 108 students, 74 died and three remain missing. (March 3, 2012)

Trucks are overturned near the Unit 4 reactor
(Credit: AP)

Trucks are overturned near the Unit 4 reactor building of stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. (Feb. 28, 2012)

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A journalist checks radiation level with her dosimeter
(Credit: AP)

A journalist checks radiation level with her dosimeter near stricken the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. (Feb. 28, 2012)

Aeronautical engineer Daisuke Arakawa, right, 24, searches for
(Credit: Getty Images)

Aeronautical engineer Daisuke Arakawa, right, 24, searches for a photograph of his grandparents, with his uncle Katsuhiko Arakawa, 60, in a school gymnasium set up as a collection site for lost articles from last year's tsunami in the Yuriage area of Natori, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

Katsuhiko Arakawa, left, 60, holds a photograph album
(Credit: Getty Images)

Katsuhiko Arakawa, left, 60, holds a photograph album belonging to his parents after searching for lost photographs with his nephew, aeronautical engineer Daisuke Arakawa, 24, in a school gymnasium set up as a collection site for lost articles from last year's tsunami. (March 2, 2012)

Photographs lie in a school gymnasium set up
(Credit: Getty Images)

Photographs lie in a school gymnasium set up as a collection site for lost possessions from last year's tsunami in the Yuriage area of Natori, Japan. (March 2, 2012)

Koichi Matsumoto, 74, a local resident whose home
(Credit: Getty Images)

Koichi Matsumoto, 74, a local resident whose home was destroyed during last year's tsunami, holds his dog Jyonko as he walks through his temporary house near Ishinomaki, Japan. (March 4, 2012)

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A man washes a door in a bathtub,
(Credit: AP)

A man washes a door in a bathtub, in an attempt to remove radioactive contamination, at a private house in Hirono, outside Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. (Feb. 20, 2012)

Workers place a bag of radiation contaminated soil
(Credit: AP)

Workers place a bag of radiation contaminated soil in a dumping ground in Hirono, outside Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. (Feb. 20, 2012)

A worker prepares bags of radiation-contaminated soil for
(Credit: AP)

A worker prepares bags of radiation-contaminated soil for shipment to a dumping ground, at a school sports field in Hirono, outside Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. (Feb. 20, 2012)

Workers prepare bags of radiation-contaminated earth for shipment
(Credit: AP)

Workers prepare bags of radiation-contaminated earth for shipment to a dumping ground, at a school sports field in Hirono, outside Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. (Feb. 20, 2012)

Workers place a bag of radiation-contaminated soil in
(Credit: AP)

Workers place a bag of radiation-contaminated soil in a dumping ground in Hirono, outside Japan's nuclear exclusion zone. (Feb. 20, 2012)

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