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A wall of 7.2 meters height began to be built in front of the beach of Nobiru, one of Japan's most beautiful bathing resorts before the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north of the country. This beach used to receive about 1.1 million tourists in the summer. Today is a vast emptiness covered in sand and grass. By government decision, nothing will be built there, but two giant sea barriers.
At most part of the coast of the three provinces affected by the tsunami - Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate - is being erected hundreds of walls like that. The initiative has already earned the nickname of "the great wall of Japan ". The goal is to minimize losses of lives and material damage if the region gets reached again by a similar tragedy.
But the initiative of putting up walls in the blue water is controversial, because it destroys the landscape, brings environmental impacts and has its effectiveness questioned. “Here, they built a wall of 8.6 meters, but why that for a 23 meters tsunami?”, asks the community leader Kazuma Goto, 67, Minami-Sanriku resident. “We wanted new houses before the wall that will not work”.
Jun Imanishi, spokesman for the Agency for Reconstruction, said that the barriers’ building is consensual. “This is decided by the citizens in the reconstruction plan of each town. The goal is to soften the impact of the tsunami, as it is impossible to prevent completely”.
*Translation from the original texts which are available on each link.