Five Chinese resume Tohoku training

Kyodo

Five Chinese trainees have returned to Japan to resume their training at a Miyagi Prefecture seafood processing company whose executive officer died while helping them survive the March 11 tsunami.

They will take part in on-the-job training at Sato Suisan Co.’s plant in the town of Onagawa for up to 2½ years.

Mitsuru Sato, 55, was swept away after evacuating the trainees to higher ground when the tsunami was approaching. His heroism was reported widely, including in China.

During his visit to Miyagi last May, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, “I highly praise his act of helping people regardless of nationality.”

One of the trainees, Cong Wei, 30, told reporters Friday that she has been worried about the people in Onagawa and thinks of Sato often.

They are the first of 20 trainees who were working at Sato Suisan at the time of the disaster to return to Japan.

There were around 160 Chinese trainees at 19 seafood processing firms in Onagawa when the tsunami crashed into the coastal town. So far, only about 20 have returned to resume their training.

In total, about 6,000 Chinese trainees were reportedly in the Tohoku region before the March disasters struck.