OVERCOMING risk and adversity sometimes depend on the ability to adapt and rebuild lives.
At coastal Minamisanriku, Japan, journalists touring disaster-devastated areas in the US, Japan and China learnt of how local fishermen who lost everything they owned, are today making a living from another kind of business.
Through an NGO called Peace Winds, fishermen who lost boats and fishing tools took up seaweed farming.
"After the disaster there was a 100 per cent destruction of the fishing industry here," said fisherman Shiya Chiba, who heads the local fisheries association.
He said there were 900 fishermen in the coastal settlement and of the 1100 boats used for fishing, only 70 survived the tsunami.
Of this number, only 20 could be used for seaweed farming.
"Straight after the disaster we were discouraged as we were all unemployed and had no source of income," he said.
"So when Peace Winds brought us the material to start seaweed farming this boosted morale and people were motivated.
"The program has been a success and we have been able to secure markets."
He said the Japanese public was also supportive, paying a higher price for the seaweed they produced.
"Within a year we could harvest the seaweed and this helped us a lot financially. Once we had the money we expanded and started farming other marine products like oysters and scallops.
"Also, we started the recovery process by working together on the seaweed project — but once we had enough money we branched out on our own. Competition is good, it drives people to work harder and it improves the health of the industry."
* October 13 is International Day for Disaster Reduction