SENDAI — Clearing out the piles of mud and rubble that have ruined his expensive farm machinery and covered the first floor of his house, Kiichi Endo let out a short sigh thinking of the years it will take before he can grow crops again on soil damaged by seawater.

"I'll have to remove all the debris before doing anything else, but I'd say it will take at least five years to restore my farmland," the 55-year-old said.

The tsunami that swept across Sendai's Wakabayashi Ward and other coastal areas following the March 11 mega-quake devastated nearly 80 percent, or 1,800 hectares, of farmland in eastern Sendai alone, ruining soil and causing incalculable damage to local farmers.