Japan's prime minister has marked the one-month anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami by writing a message of thanks to people around the world for their support.
Nearly 28,000 people were killed or still missing as a result of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hitting Japan's northeast coast, triggering an on-going nuclear crisis.
On the one-month anniversary of the March 11 disaster, Naoto Kan, the prime minister, placed his message of gratitude for global support in advertisements published in international newspapers around the world.
"One month has passed since an earthquake of unprecedented scale struck Japan, taking thousands of precious lives," he wrote.
"In the tsunami-devastated regions there was no food, no water, no electricity and the survivors had no communications.
"At that desperate time people from around the world rallied to our side bringing hope and inspiring courage.