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The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan plunged the country into a state of crisis. As the nation struggled to recover from a record breaking magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that was as high as 38 meters in some places, it was compounded by a nuclear meltdown. This enormous tragedy, claiming some 24,000 lives, and displacing more than 500,000 people initially, exceeds the disaster preparedness of Japan. This book brings together the analysis and insights of a group of distinguished experts on Japan to examine what happened, how various institutions and actors responded and what lessons can be drawn from Japan "s disaster. The contributors, many of whom experienced the disaster first hand assess the wide-ranging repercussions of this catastrophe and how it is already reshaping Japanese culture, politics, energy policy, and urban planning.