The big stories affecting you in 2011
More than 15,000 people were killed when Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami on 11 March 2011.
Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water, while further danger erupted just days later when the cooling system at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed.
At the time, Japan's then prime minister - Naoto Kan - said his country was facing its toughest crisis since World War II.
But the Japanese people have proved resilient and for others who chose to remain in the country life must go on. Ten months on some residents reflect on the events and the future.
Regis de Lavison, Fukushima
I was in Fukushima City when the earthquake hit, driving to pick up children for afternoon classes at my school.
I didn't realise at first how strong it was. The utility and telephone poles were violently moving as was the car but it was not at all traumatic.
Listening to the radio and hearing the panic in the announcer's voice and frantic tsunami warnings made me realise how serious it was.
Fukushima City was basically unaffected by the initial earthquake and ensuing tsunami. It was the power outage and lack of gasoline which made life inconvenient.
The explosions at the nuclear power plant made things much more horrific for me and my family.
Within a week of the earthquake we managed to fly out of Fukushima airport and stayed in Fukuoka, Kyushu for four weeks.
Due to the lingering radiation we are very careful about what we eat avoiding locally produced food. We also keep the children indoors and playing outside is very limited.
Regis de Lavison
I am happy to be alive and to know no-one who lost their life”
The radiation problem is very worrying and will remain for at least the next three generations.
The government dealt with the situation very poorly. They gave out bad information and were slow to admit the seriousness of the disaster.
The Japanese people who were to limited to local news for information (and that's almost everyone) were unable to make proper decisions on their own regarding what to do.
I am happy to be alive and to know no-one who lost their life due to the horrendous tsunami. And, my wife is expecting our third child for February. I continue to count my blessings.