Even this year, cherry blossom season bloomed in Japan.
The lives of us Japanese have changed completely in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the constant fear of radiation following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. So much so that we forgot the coming of spring.
I returned to cover the stricken area again at the beginning of April. The huge piles of debris that were visible immediately after the quake and tsunami were slowly being managed. Roads had appeared again and gradually I saw that there was a town.
The town which appeared was still a world of monotone. But light pink flowers, that elicit a feeling of excitement within all Japanese, appeared in the black and white world.
Cherry blossoms grew from trees destroyed by the tsunami little more than one month earlier. Branches that were swept away when cars whistled by were now full of vitality as the cherry blossoms bloomed wonderfully.
The revival of Japan has only just begun. I cannot help but hope that a day will come soon when we will be able to regain our smile in Japan; a smile such as the cherry blossoms bring.