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July 12th, 2011
Four months have passed since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the east coast of Japan. And while rebuilding is now under way, progress at the local level is slow and impeding the recovery of universities in the disaster-stricken area.
According to estimates by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the total damage to universities could exceed ¥90 billion, although it is highly likely that this figure will rise as reconstruction continues.
Tohoku University, one of the world's top engineering universities, arguably suffered the most damage. Property damage to the university is estimated at over ¥77 billion (£596 million) in total, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo Tsushin. Around 7000 pieces of lab equipment were destroyed and 28 buildings will need to be rebuilt.
Tadahiro Komeda, a professor of nanotechnology at Tohoku University, estimates that it will take more than a year for research to get back to the stage it was at before the earthquake struck, even in the Katahira-campus which suffered relatively little damage.
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