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Japan marks disaster's 2nd anniversary

March 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM

TOKYO, March 11 (UPI) -- Japan set aside time Monday to mark the second anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disasters that left more than 18,000 people dead or missing.

Memorial services were slated for the three northeastern prefectures hardest hit by the tsunami, as well as in Tokyo and other communities, Kyodo News reported.

There was to be a moment of silence across the country at 2:46 p.m., the time the magnitude-9 quake occurred exactly two years ago, triggering the huge wall of water that washed over huge swaths of the coast and creating the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.

Emperor Akihito was to attend a memorial ceremony at the National Theater in Tokyo along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of victims' families, Kyodo said.

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