17 Apr '11, 10pm

Japan disaster zone celebrates cherry blossom season

Japan disaster zone celebrates cherry blossom season

RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan : Victims of Japan's biggest disaster since World War II took a break from the clean-up on Sunday to mark the blossoming of the cherry trees by holding a traditional "hanami" party. In one of the areas worst hit by the 9.0-magnitude quake and huge tsunami that slammed into Japan's northeast coast on March 11, residents cracked open the sake, held barbecues and sang songs to herald the arrival of spring. "Hanami", or flower viewing, parties are held every year across Japan to celebrate the moment when the weather begins to warm and the cherry trees come into bloom. This year's celebrations have been muted by the disaster that struck more than a month ago, killing thousands and sparking the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. But in the devastated city of Rikuzentakata, where one in 10 residents is estimated to have been killed in the disaster,...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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