Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Japanese government is looking at ending the annual national remembrance ceremony to honor those who died after the major earthquake and tsunami in 2011, a top official said Tuesday.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga suggested to reporters the ceremony next year will be the last.
Suga said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prefers the tradition end, when his term does, in 2021 -- and to leave it to his successor to decide how to go forward.
Ten years since the disaster would mark a "turning point," Suga said. "It will be a natural course of action to decide what to do afterward while considering the situation."
The Japan Times reported Tuesday the 2021 ceremony will be the last.
Officials said, though, no final decision has been made and the government will consider how citizens react to the idea.
The 9.1 magnitude quake struck on March 11, 2011, and was the largest ever to hit Japan. It's the world's fourth-largest earthquake on record. Centered 231 miles northeast of Tokyo, it caused a tsunami with 30-foot waves and damaged several reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Officials say 16,000 people died and the earthquake and tsunami caused $220 billion damage.