TOKYO -- Japan on Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit its northeastern region, where many survivors' lives are still on hold.

Carrying bouquets, many walked to the coast or visited graves to pray for relatives and friends washed away by the tsunami. Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga were among those observing a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. -- the minute the shaking started -- at a memorial in Tokyo.

The magnitude 9.0 quake that struck on March 11, 2011, was one of the biggest on record and set off a massive tsunami that swept far inland, destroying towns and causing meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. More than 18,000 people died, mostly in the tsunami, and nearly half a million people were displaced.

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