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Japanese police officers in radiation suits bow their heads in prayer for tsunami victims near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck March 11, 2011, caused a tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region, splintering whole communities, ruining swaths of prime farmland and killing nearly 19,000 people.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP/Getty Images

Visitors gather at a memorial altar at the Okawa elementary school, where at least 70 students died in the 2011 tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP/Getty Images

A man visits a cemetery to pay respects to his son, who was killed in the March 2011 tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP/Getty Images

Buddhist monks march on the seawall on the second anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that killed nearly 19,000 people in areas along Japan's northeastern coast.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AFP/Getty Images

A light show commemorates the anniversary of the quake and tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

A woman prays at a candle service marking the second anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KIMIMASA MAYAMA / EPA

A Buddhist monk offers prayers in Iwate prefecture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Ishii / Getty Images

At Kouganji Temple in Iwate prefecture, Hana Tanaka, 4, cleans the grave of her grandparents, who were killed in the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Ishii / Getty Images

People gather for a moment of silence to mark the earthquake anniversary in Miyagi prefecture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press

A crowd observes a moment of silence in tribute to the victims of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami during an event at a park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Itsuo Inouye / Associated Press

A fishing boat swept ashore by the March 11, 2011, tsunami sits in a deserted port area in Miyagi prefecture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Koji Ueda / Associated Press

A police officer searches for missing people in a vehicle near the stricken Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant on March 11, 2011.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP/Getty Images

A bouquet is left in tribute to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi prefecture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg

The grounded fishing vessel No.18 Kyotoku Maru is illuminated as Japan commemorates the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Athit Perawongmetha / Getty Images

A Buddhist statue was built recently in honor of tsunami victims in Miyagi prefecture.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: TORU YAMANAKA / AFP/Getty Images

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Japan marks 2 years since tsunami

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Japan marked the second anniversary Monday of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and has displaced more than 300,000.

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