On March 11, 2011 the largest earthquake in Japanese history, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, occurred off the coast of Sanriku in the Tohoku region of Japan. The quake triggered a massive tsunami which just moments later overwhelmed settlements and caused catastrophic damage to coastal prefectures. The sheer and absolute destruction of homes, businesses, public services, medical care facilities and basic infrastructure altered the point of reference from which previous crisis response had been based. The fallout specifically compromised the Tokyo Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station reactors which served as a 'game changer' or facilitator of precedent for Japanese crisis response and most specifically the relationship it maintains with its now most strategic ally -- the United States. At 3:30 PM, just 44 minutes after the earthquake hit, the Ministry of Defense established an Emergency Headquarters in order to initiate basic response operations.