I come from Singapore where it’s quiet and peaceful all year round when it comes to natural disasters. I never realized how much I took that for granted until I moved to Japan, where the dramatic forces of nature are the norm. It took me a while to get used to that — I bet others, who were in a similar position as me, had to as well.

The Land of the Rising Sun is not all neon city lights and ramen — there are days where the people here are overwhelmed by feelings of fear and distress instead of exhilaration and euphoria. The main suspects that bring those emotions out are frequent natural disasters including tsunamis that disrupt daily lives and tragically take some away — as when the major tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. But what makes this island nation different from others to be on the recurring receiving end of such natural forces?

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