In a rare symbol of solidarity between two cities from the Eastern and Western part of the world, a group of people from the city of Kauai in Hawaii have put up a memorial, using debris from Japan that was fished out from its shores. 19 Japanese delegates, including the mayor of the city were the debris came from, attended the dedication ceremony.
The debris, a buoy, was found floating in the western waters of the island of Kauai in January 2013. A naval vessel connected with the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana, took the buoy and contacted Japan on the possibility that it may have been debris from the tsunami of 2011. The Japanese Consulate in O’ahu confirmed that it was from the port of Iwaki City. Since the owner of the buoy did not want it returned, the city of Kauai decided to use it as a memorial to display the environmental hazards of marine debris. Iwaki City is the location of the Spa Resort Hawaiians and part of the Tohoku region which was devastated severely by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In September of that year, a delegation from Hawaii led by Kauai City Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. visited the city to help in disaster relief efforts. Carvalho said, “I remember looking out into the waters of the bay, not knowing that at that moment the buoy was on its way to the west coast of the United States and then back to Kauai.”
At the dedication ceremony, Iwaki City Vice Mayor Norio Miyazaki said, “Three years have passed since the disaster, and we are committed to working hard to make Iwaki even stronger than it was. We appreciate this symbol of goodwill between our cities.” Meanwhile, Carvalho confirmed the good relations between the two cities. He noted, “It demonstrates how powerful the forces of nature are, but also how the power of friendship can bridge all distances and obstacles.”
[via Hawaii News Now]