'Hearts are in pieces' five years after tsunami hits Japan
Updated: 2016-03-11 09:17
Government spending on reconstruction is set to dip from the start of the new fiscal year in April. But Abe pledged continued support.
"Many people are still leading uncomfortable lives in the affected areas. There are many who cannot return to their beloved homes because of the accident at the nuclear power plant," he said at the ceremony.
"We commit ourselves to ... providing care for their minds and bodies, forming new local communities and supporting industrial development of the affected areas."
Full recovery will take still longer.
"Infrastructure is recovering, hearts are not. I thought time would take care of things," said Eiki Kumagai, a Rikuzentakata volunteer fireman who lost 51 colleagues, many killed as they guided others to safety.
"I keep seeing the faces of those who died... There's so much regret, I can't express it."