A nation struggles to imagine its future

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The Independent Online

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the disaster Japan’s worst crisis since the Second World War, with the financial costs estimated at up to £110bn.

Vast swaths of infrastructure will have to be rebuilt, along with tens of thousands of homes and businesses, while investment will have to be pumped into shoring up the nation’s defences against future natural disasters. Japan’s nuclear programme may also be reassessed after explosions at one of its older plants raised fear of radiation leaks.