Recovery is painfully slow two years after a giant earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan.
It's been two years since a giant earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, leaving nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and displacing more than 300,000 more.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake -- the strongest ever recorded in Japan -- also sparked a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that spewed radiation into the surrounding soil and water.
Take a look at how Japan marked the two-year anniversary and the struggle it's been in many areas to recover from the disaster.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid tribute to the victims on March 11, 2013, by bowing to the national flag, which was hung with a black ribbon as a symbol of mourning, at the start of his news conference at his official residence in Tokyo.
Relatives of the earthquake and tsunami victims offer chrysanthemums during the national memorial service held to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the disaster on March 11, 2013.
People pray for victims of the disaster during a temporary visit to Namie inside the no-go zone around the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
People observe a moment of silence facing the sea during a rally at 2:46 p.m., the time when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off Japan's coast on March 11, 2011.
A man prays to mourn victims as a ship brought ashore by the tsunami is seen in the background in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 11, 2013.
In a photo that illustrates how devastated many areas of Japan remain two years later, a local resident and a dog walk near a ship brought ashore by the tsunami in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 11, 2013.
Police officers are still searching for missing people from the earthquake and tsunami. Here, officers comb the ground in Shinokaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 10, 2013.
The tsunami-devastated city of Natori in Miyagi Prefecture is seen in this combination photo taken March 11, 2011, (top) and March 6, 2013.
The tsunami-devastated town of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, is pictured in this combination photo taken March 19, 2011, (top) and March 1, 2013.
Piles of vehicles that were swamped and destroyed by the tsunami are seen in a devastated area of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture.
Participants act as if they are not able to return home due to a strong earthquake during a disaster drill at Yurakucho subway station in Tokyo on March 11, 2013.
An aerial view of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2013.
Workers are seen at the nuclear plant's No. 4 reactor building.
Hundreds of gravestones are seen near the Arahama elementary school in Sendai, Japan.
Motorcycles destroyed by the tsunami still lie in the parking lot of Arahama elementary school in Sendai, Japan.
Kindergarten children play near a geiger counter to measure radiation at Douhou Kindergarten, about 31 miles from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.
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