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earthquake) occurred in the Tohoku region (the northeastern part of Japan). On November 5, 2005 a M7.1 normal-faulting earthquake (the 2005 off Sanriku earthquake) occurred in the Pacific plate. On November 15, 2006 a M7.9 earthquake (the 2006 eastern Kuril Islands earthquake) occurred in the eastern part of Kuril Islands. All of these earthquakes were observed through the nation-wide dense seismic and geodetic observation networks and were analyzed in detail by Japanese seismologists.

The Passing of Leading Seismologists

During the last four years many leading scientists in seismology and physics of the Earth’s interior passed away: Toshi Asada (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo) on January 10, 2003; Masayuki Kikuchi (Professor, University of Tokyo) on October 18, 2003; Shigeji Suyehiro (Former Director General of Japan Meteorological Agency) on December 8, 2003; Hitoshi Takeuchi (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo) on April 20, 2004; Ryosuke Sato (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo) on May 12, 2004; Tokuji Utsu (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo) on August 18, 2004; Tsuneji Rikitake (Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo) on August 22, 2004; Keiiti Aki (Science Director Emeritus of Southern California Earthquake Center, University of Southern California) on May 17, 2005. The passing of these leading scientists may suggest the end of the glorious days of classical seismology.

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