Residents of the tsunami-ravaged coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, have launched a project to plant cherry trees marking the points where the waves reached March 11 to warn future generations about a repeat of the catastrophe.

Organizers of the project have been motivated by the belief that indifference and a lack of knowledge among local people about gigantic tsunami that struck the city in the past may have worsened the human cost of last year's disaster.

"Having lost many friends and acquaintances due to the tsunami, I regret that we had no knowledge of inland points where waves had reached in the past. I don't want future generations to feel the same way," says Takumi Hashizume, 34, a representative for the "Sakura (Cherry) Line 311" project.