Miyako seaweed harvest resumes


Harvesting of seaweed resumed in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday morning for the first time since the coastal city was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Some 20 boats left the port of Omoe at 4:30 a.m. to pick naturally growing seaweed.

“It was a good catch,” 24-year-old fisherman Daisuke Tademura said, adding that it will be “a big step toward reconstruction” of the devastated area.

Since most of the 800 fishing boats affiliated with the Omoe fishery cooperative were damaged by the tsunami, the association has secured some 60 vessels so members can jointly use them and share the earnings until the fishing fleet recovers, which is expected to take several years.

Meanwhile, in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, another devastated coastal city, a sports festival was held at an elementary school where some 60 people have been sheltering since the disaster.

The Oginohama Elementary School urged the evacuees to join its 13 students for the athletic meeting as part of morale-boosting efforts.

N.Y. charity concert held


A charity concert for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims was held Friday night at New York’s Carnegie Hall, with a chorus group from quake-hit Sendai performing a show expressing hope for recovery.

The group, Hagi, performed at the Japan-U.S. Chorus Charity Concert for Sendai. The planning for the show was led by Masaki Shirota, 61, a Sendai native who is also a member of the Men’s Glee Club of New York, and Hagi leader and Sendai resident Maki Suemitsu, 58, a professor at Tohoku University.

About two years ago, the pair came up with the idea of holding a joint Japan-U.S. chorus festival at Carnegie Hall to deepen bilateral ties. Both had been members of the university’s men’s choir when they were students.