Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
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Japan anniversary: 'We shall never forget', says Emperor

Japan has marked the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the north-east coast, leaving about 20,000 dead or missing.

The main memorial ceremony was held at Tokyo's National Theatre, where Japan's Emperor Akihito paid tribute to those who lost their lives, and to the many who helped in the aftermath.

Much of Japan came to a standstill as a minute of silence was observed.

Warning sirens sounded across the north-east of the country at the precise time the quake struck, 14:46 local time (05:46 GMT). Bells and prayers also reverberated across the country.

  • 11 Mar 2012
  • From the section Asia