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    Fire fighters search for survivors following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, northeastern Japan, Friday, March 18, 2011. (File)

    Japan Observes Minute's Silence for 16,000 Victims of 2011 Earthquake (PHOTOS)

    © AP Photo / Koji Sasahara
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Minute's silence has been observed in Japan on Sunday to commemorate the victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami which hit the country in 2011.

    The minute's silence has been announced via loudspeakers installed on the streets across the country and on cars of the local administrations. Following the minute's silence a ceremony commemorating the victims was launched with participation of Japanese Emperor's family and members of government and parliament.

    READ MORE: 'Walls Are Shaking': Strong Earthquake Rocks Japan (PHOTO)

    Seven years ago, on March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magntude earthquake hit north-eastern parts of Japan killing about 16,000 people in 12 Japanese prefectures. The majority of victims (93 percent) died from the tsunami triggered but the quake. A total of 2,539 people are still missing and 30,000 are living in temporary housing.

    ​The 46-foot tsunami also hit Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, leading to the leakage of radioactive material into the surrounding environment and the shutdown of the plant. The accident is considered to be the world's worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986 in Soviet Union.


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