On the 21st, I was invited to give a talk in Iwate Prefecture in Northern Japan. I used the opportunity to visit my friend Yoichiro Kashiwa, who lost his house in the Tsunami two and a half years ago.

Both the area in Ofunato where his house stood as well as the town of Rikuzen-Takada, just south of Ofunato, still look devasted. There are plans to raise the ground of the whole area by 2 to 5 meters, and build walls against the waves which are more than 10 meters high. I am afraid that even with that amount of effort, human beings will not win against nature.