Three years ago, an 8.9 (or 9.0 depending on your source) magnitude earthquake struck Japan. Triggering a powerful tsunami the nearly obliterated North East Japan. It also triggered several major meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Three years later the Tohoku region is still a mess, the Japanese public has all but forgotten about the tragic event (except when it's "convenient" for them), the Japanese government is either trying to sweep the tragic event under the rug (again, unless it's convenient for them) or playing the blame game with TEPCO over who's at fault for the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Although it may not feel like it, Japan hasn't recovered at all since the earthquake happened.
I was actually still living in Japan (the far-off Chubu region) when the earthquake happened. I was eating lunch with a relative when the ground violently shook for roughly 5 minutes. After things calmed down we turned on the TV to see what had happened. Every channel on TV was talking about the earthquake and within the next half hour or so, word started spreading that the massive earthquake had triggered a tsunami. For the next hour the TV broadcast showed nothing but the tsunami waves engulfing everything in their path. Although the TV broadcasts never showed any dead bodies (a camera even panned out when a tsunami wave was about to engulf a car being driven by some poor soul trying to outrun it) the death tolls started rising and rising.
The next 24 hours were pure chaos. Everybody was scrambling to get the survivors and evacuees proper medical attention, food, water and supplies. People all over Japan (and the world) were calling to check if their loved ones were safe. And of course, the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant really started getting serious.
Now I could go on and on about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster but I won't since that's a VERY complicated issue. I will say this though. It seems as though the power plant was already a ticking time-bomb BEFORE the tsunami hit it, as various inside sources claim that the facility has had numerous problems (malfunctioning parts, poor maintenance, corruption in the nuclear energy industry, etc...) since the 80's. Over 1,000 accidents have happened at the power plant since the earthquake and tsunami (the Japanese Government apparently thinks that there have only been 201 accidents), although for all we know it could be 200,000 at this point (you won't believe how many mishaps, accidents and set-backs are still going in that facility today). At this point most of the Japanese public (that's outside the Tohoku region) doesn't even care anymore and is just expecting the government to pull some magic trick out of their ass that'll make the problem go away.
Anyway, this post is way too negative now to be a "Pray For Japan" post so I'll just end this by showing a Takashi Saito card from 2012 Sega Card Gen. The ex-Dodger/Red Sock/Brave/Brewer/Diamondback hails from Sendai, Miyagi (one of the prefectures that was devastated by the tsunami). Saito wanted to cheer his hometown up by representing them and pitching in the World Series. Unfortunately the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Brewers in the 2011 NLCS and Saito's hopes were dashed.
Thanks for taking the time to read this half-assed "tribute"/rant.
As always, take care and may God bless those who lost their lives that day.