Work starts to scrap beached ship

Kyodo

A nonprofit organization on Monday began dismantling a 330-ton fishing vessel washed ashore by the March 2011 tsunami that has become a landmark in one of the hardest-hit cities in the Tohoku region.

Although the stricken vessel, the Kyotoku Maru No. 18, had become a tourist attraction, a plan by the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, to preserve it as a memorial met with resistance from local residents, who said it was only preserving bitter memories of the disaster.

The opposition led the boat’s owner, fishery firm Gisuke Gyogyo K.K. in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, to decide to scrap it.

“While the presence of the vessel here may have bothered people, it has played a certain role in informing the public of the danger of tsumani,” President Katsuyuki Yanai, 40, told reporters as he visited the site.

The NPO Ship Recycle Muroran from Hokkaido began by erecting walls around the ship to ensure safety and control noise.

  • MeTed

    I feel this is going to be a big mistake. Future generations will mourn the loss of such a powerful reminder of the power of tsunamis. I think they will also wonder why this vessel was destroyed. It could be made into a great exhibit and tourist attraction for a high class museum about the tsunami.

    Locals say it reminds them of the disaster, but doesn’t everything? Lost people, lower population, vacant land, failed businesses, protecting walls. Everywhere they turn is a reminder of the disaster. Removing this boat is not going to change that.