[194] Japan marks five years since Tohoku disaster


Japan marks five years since Tohoku disaster Memorial services were held across Japan to honor the citizens who died after the March 11, 2011 earthquake hit northern Japan. The 9-Richter earthquake triggering a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown. A special prosecuting panel has finally decided to prosecute three managers of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operated the nuclear power plant that suffered a meltdown. The managers have been accused of ignoring repeated warnings that the power plant was too close to the sea, and vulnerable to a tsunami. They are charged with causing the deaths of 13 people at the plant, and 44 hospital patients who were forced to evacuate.

trigger (verb): イベントを生成する・触発・起こす
prosecute (verb): 強制起訴・起訴(する)
vulnerable: 弱点・弱味


Can you print your new heart arteries? At the Medical Japan exhibition in Osaka, new companies showed their expanding 3D printing capabilities, with several companies now able to print 3D flexible tubes that can be used for replacement arteries, veins, and related tissues.

flexible : しなやか・フレキシブル
arteries: 動脈
tissues: 人体の組織


last-minute (plans)

Natalie: I’m so upset with Brad today.

Ally: Why? What happened?

Natalie: Instead of planning for our 3-day weekend trip in advance, he made a last-minute reservation at a hotel, and it was very expensive.

Ally: I’m sorry to hear that. Next time, I can ask my travel agent if he can offer you any special prices for last-minute travelers.

Explanation: When a person does something at the “last-minute” it means that they finished something just before the deadline, or at the latest possible time. There is no time left for adjustments or changes.

last-minute (adjective): 最後の瞬間の…


regain your strength

Surgery Patient: Will I be able to go back to work at the construction company by next week?

Doctor Hernandez: You need to rest for a few days until you regain your strength, and then you can start doing some simple exercises. You will be able to go to work next month.

Explanation: After an accident or surgery, a person needs time to “regain” their health. They need to get back their energy.

regain one’s (strength/health) (verb): 健康を回復する・取り戻す


it’s a breakthrough

Hello Lexy:

I have very good news for your team. We just received funding from the government to expand our research into cancer drugs. This funding is a breakthrough for our company. We have been waiting many years for this opportunity, and now we can move forward.

Explanation: A “breakthrough” is a big step or a big opportunity. We can have a breakthrough in funding, or a breakthrough in technology. Governments or businesses can also have a breakthrough in negotiations.

breakthrough: 大発見・新機軸