Japan marks 6 months since earthquake, tsunami

By the Associated Press | September 11, 2011 | 4:10 AM EDT

A woman weeps during the memorial service for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, marking six months after the disasters in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011.(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (AP) — As the world commemorates the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, Sunday is doubly significant for Japan. It marks exactly six months since the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Along the hard-hit northeastern coast, communities came together to remember victims. Monks chanted. Survivors prayed. Mothers hung colorful paper cranes for lost children.

Half a year later, there are signs of progress.

Much of the debris has been cleared or at least organized into big piles. Most evacuees have moved out of high school gyms and into temporary shelters.

But anxiety and frustration remain. Survivors face an uncertain future, and they are growing increasingly impatient with a government they describe as too slow and without direction.