The city of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture has begun dismantling the ship that took harbor in a residential district since it got swept inland by the tsunami in 2011. The work began on Monday following the residents’ consensus conducted in July to scrap the ship, which attracted tourists to come and visit the site.
The ship owner expressed apology for “troubling disaster sufferers with the presence of the ship” but reminded that “it helped show the dangers of the tsunami.” The city initially considered preserving the 330-ton vessel – No. 18 Kyotoku-maru – as a memorial of the 2011 disaster that hit eastern Japan. The city came to a final decision when Mayor Shigeru Sugawara sought the public opinion. Out of 65,000 residents in Kesennuma, 14,088 responded, with just under 70 percent responding that there’s “no need to preserve the ship.”
The 60-metre (200-foot) ship was owned by Gisuke Fishery Co., which is based in the city of Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture. It was swept up to 500 metres inland and even survived the fire that hit the city. Naoki Shimizu, a resident and owner of a local sushi restaurant in Kesennuma, hoped that the ship would remain and be preserved “as a lesson for our descendents 100 or 200 years on.” The dismantling of the ship is expected to be completed by October 19.
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