Our hearts go out to the people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Julie and I did visit Sendai en route to Akiu Onsen and Akiu-otaki, and we're saddened by the loss despite the inevitability of events like this all over the Pacific Ring of Fire (especially with Honshu being close to subduction faults similar to the one that uplifted and caused tsunamis in 2004 near Indonesia).
With that said, I think it shows the sense of community and character that even in the face of all this, there hasn't been looting & rioting, and there seemed to be a great deal of preparation with some degree of advanced warning. Julie and I saw for ourselves the generosity, discipline, and humility of the Japanese people, and we're pretty certain this too shall pass because of this. A similar catastrophe surely would have been even more devastating elsewhere.