Aerial view of tsunami zone: cleaner but barren

An aerial view of tsunami-battered seaside communities shows striking progress eight months after Japan's March 11 disaster. Much of the rubble, crumpled cars and other debris are gone.

Yet seen from a helicopter Friday carrying Associated Press journalists, there were few signs of rebuilding along the rocky coastline.

The brown, barren void where bustling towns once stood is a sobering reminder of how much work still lies ahead.

Local communities have just begun to come out with long-term rebuilding plans.

On the ground, people living in rows of temporary houses that surround the towns say they are frustrated that authorities aren't moving ahead more quickly with reconstruction plans.

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