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

itoggle caption Lucy Craft for NPR

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

itoggle caption Hiro Komae/AP

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

itoggle caption NPR

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

itoggle caption Gregory Bull/AP