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Japan Still Searching for Tsunami Victims Four Years On

A toddler and a mother look at candles lit to mark the fourth anniversary of tsunami during a special memorial event for the victims in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 11, 2015. The banner behind them reads "Hang in there! Ishinomaki."

Thousands of people across Japan attended memorials to remember the nearly 19,000 lives lost in the tsunami. On the northeast coast of Japan where the tsunami stuck, many attended moments of silence for victims.

Kota Endo / Kyodo News

A woman cries during a memorial event in Tokyo. Along the northeastern coast of Japan, many marked the anniversary of the disaster with simultaneous moments of silence.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Residents in the restricted access town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, lay flowers and offer a prayer for their parents killed by the earthquake and tsunami. Namie town is close to Tokyo Electric Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plant suffered a triple meltdown in the aftermath of the disaster.

Kimimasa Mayama / EPA

A woman lights a candle in prayer during a memorial in Tokyo.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Balloons in the shape of doves are released into the air during a memorial service at the former Yuriage junior high school in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture.

Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP

The lone pine tree that miraculously survived the tsunami among 70,000 trees along the coastline, stands in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 5. The tree was cut down in 2012 and treated for decay after which it was preserved using artificial materials. It was later placed back where it was found to stand as a symbol of hope and survival.

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Police search for the bodies of tsunami victims along the seashore in Shichigahama town, Miyagi prefecture, on March 11. Police from Iwate prefecture continue to search for remains and personal items that could be returned to loved ones on the 11th of every month. The quake-tsunami disaster has left visible scars on the landscape and continues to wreak misery for many.

Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP

Houses swallowed by the tsunami burn in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture on March 11, 2011.

Anonymous / Kyodo News