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One Year after Tsunami, Sendai Makes Comeback
March 25, 2012

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Last year at this time, Sendai was treading water, literally. The northeastern Japanese city was at the center of a huge tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake that trigged a nuclear meltdown and a giant dispersal of population.

Yet one year later, Sendai has made a comeback, with business picking up, especially in the manufacturing sector. Cars are selling well, which is welcome news for a country that is very much dependent on exporting motor vehicles. After a serious of aftershocks, the city has suffered no further damage. The cleanup from the tsunami is still going on in some respects, and many residents are still not able to move home. But construction of new buildings is picking up, and government money to finance this construction and other local businesses continues to pour in. With so many buildings damaged or destroyed, builders are pouring in from all over the country, with some saying that they have already signed up for work for months if not years to come.

Many of those new car purchases are of luxury cars, and many of those purchases are by local buyers. Spending is up in other large-ticket areas as well, with new home construction driving demand for complementary purchases of new home furnishings.

Sales are up across the board for smaller-ticket items as well, at restaurants and bars and shopping malls. In fact, financial analysts have noticed an increase in spending since the twin disasters. Many Japanese wage-earners are normally spending-averse. In fact, after the quake and tsunami, the prime minister and other government spokespeople went to great lengths to urge people around the country to spend money in order to help jump-start an economy that was very much stagnant, not just in the areas hit by the twin disasters but elsewhere as well. Fearful of a disaster in their part of the country, Tokyo residents especially found themselves buying almost nothing but essential food and disaster survival supplies.

With the one-year anniversary of the earthquake come and gone, many people are getting on with their lives and spending more of their earnings and savings on things that they can enjoy now, taking to heart the lessons learned when so many of their countrymen and countrywomen died with their savings unenjoyed.
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