‘Our hearts to Japan’ one year after quake

A service under the pagoda in Japantown commemorated the anniversary of the earthquake.

On March 11 — the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan last year — a commemorative community event called “Our Hearts to Japan” will be held at the Peace Plaza at Post and Buchanan Streets in Japantown.

The event caps a year of local activities that have raised more than $4 million to aid the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that followed. More than 20,000 people were killed and thousands more were left injured and homeless.

“The event is a way to memorialize those who have died and to honor the survivors, many of whom still need our help in rebuilding their lives,” said Dianne Fukami, president of the board of directors of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. “When I was in Tohoku last month, I witnessed the spirit and determination of the people, but I also realized how huge their losses are and how great the need continues to be.”

An extensive program of events will be held in Japantown on March 11. “Our Hearts to Japan” will begin at 2 p.m., and those attending will observe a moment of silence at 2:46 p.m. — precisely the time the disaster struck Japan.