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When the gigantic tsunami hit the Tohoku region on March 11, Kazuya Kikuchi was just getting out of his truck at Sendai port. As he saw the killer waves swallow up a bunch of brand new Toyotas at the harbor waiting to be shipped, he was frozen by the surreal sound of metal against metal – a sound he said he will never forget.

After the cars’ alarm systems set off a cacaphony of honking, Kikuchi ran into a nearby building and dashed up five flights of stairs, getting away just in time.

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