Google Street View lets displaced Japanese glimpse the town they left in 2011

It's been more than two years since the tragic Eastern Japan tsunami and resulting Fukushima Prefecture nuclear plant crisis, but many of those who lived in affected areas still can't return: witness the 21,000 residents of Namie, who had to evacuate and haven't been back since. Thanks to a newly published Google Street View run, those former residents can once more see the town they had to leave. The 360-degree imagery shows Namie in the deserted state it faces today, with little recovery work done or possible. Google's photos can't accelerate the recovery process, but Mayor Tamotsu Baba views them as an incentive to eventually return -- and a better way for the rest of the world to understand the tsunami's long-term effects.