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About 450 residents of this tsunami-ravaged town kicked off an experiment Monday to turn a 50-meter-long mound of disaster debris into a new forest by planting 3,000 saplings on it.

The idea is the brainchild of bionomics expert Akira Miyawaki, professor emeritus of Yokohama National University, who was searching for a good way to make use of debris from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami without damaging the environment.

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