Two-year-old Kakeru Ishikawa prays with his aunt Nobuko Arakawa March 10, 2012, at the gravesite of five of his relatives all killed when their home was swept away by the tsunami, in Rikuzentakata, Japan.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck offshore on March 11, 2011 at 2:46 p.m. local time, triggering a tsunami wave of up to ten meters in height, which engulfed large parts of north-eastern Japan and damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis in decades. The number of dead and missing numbered more than 25,000 people.
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the disaster, the affected areas have been inundated with families, friends and relatives. The limited number of hotels in the area are full to capacity with world media and people from across the country arriving to take part in ceremonies paying tribute to the many people who lost their lives.