Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary. Lucy Craft for NPR hide caption

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In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

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Markets in the port city of Soma, in Fukushima, Japan, are once again selling local seafood. In this file photo, volunteers help clean up a Soma seafood restaurant damaged in last March's tsunami and earthquake. Hiro Komae/AP hide caption

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A woman wipes tears from her eyes as she smiles after tasting the sake she and her father made — their first batch since the Fukushima disaster forced them to leave their ancestral brewery. NPR hide caption

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A man is scanned for radiation exposure at a temporary center for residents living close to the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant on Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Gregory Bull/AP hide caption

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Richard Harris, from Tokyo

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People walked through rubble in Minami-Sanrikucho, Miyagi prefecture, earlier today (March 15, 2011). Jiji Press /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Doualy Xaykaothao

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This woman was calling out the names of her family in the city of Soma in Miyagi prefecture earlier today (March 14, 2011). Yomiuri Shimbun /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao in Fukushima Prefecture

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A woman sits in an evacuation center in Fukushima prefecture, where fears of radiation exposure have further complicated the lives of people whose cities were crippled by Friday's earthquake. Doualy Xaykaothao /NPR hide caption

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The Scene In Fukushima

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Rescue workers check the remains of a house for any possible survivors in Natori, Miyage prefecture, Sunday. Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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An aerial view shows the devastated Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011. More than 1,000 people were feared dead after a monster tsunami unleashed by a massive quake which wreaked destruction across northeast Japan and triggered an emergency at a nuclear power plant. JIJI Press/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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