East Japan Railway Co.’s (JR-EAST Train) train service on the Joban Line reopened on March 14 nine years after the March 2011 triple disaster. The 335-kilometer Joban line connecting Tokyo and Miyagi Prefecture was the last railway line to continue its services. According to JR East, high levels of radiation on the location of Joban Lines’ broken stretch was the reason the repair work was delayed. Before the reopening, JR East had provided bus services for the closed area of the Joban Line. Limited express trains connecting Tokyo to Sendai, the capital of Miyagi, will make three round-trips per day.

JR-EAST Train service on a 20.8-kilometer stretch between Tomioka and Namie near the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had been suspended since the catastrophe. Despite some people’s expectations that the improvement of public transport in disaster-hit areas will increase the number of visitors and enhance regional recovery, others believe that the effects will be limited as most locals still prefer cars over other modes of transport. On March 11, 2011, northeastern Japan was struck by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake that caused massive destruction in the region. This disaster is also called The Great Sendai Earthquake or The Great Tōhoku Earthquake.