• Kyodo


A floating pier from Tohoku believed to have been swept away by the March 2011 tsunami was found on a beach in Washington on Tuesday, local government officials said.

The pier was found by the U.S. Coast Guard on a beach near the town of Forks in a designated national park, the state government said.

Washington officials said the pier will be checked for invasive foreign plant and animal species before it is removed from the water.

The coast guard began searching for the pier after fishermen reported an object drifting off the coast that could pose a navigational hazard.

In June, a floating pier swept away from the tsunami-stricken city of Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, was found on a beach in Oregon.

Santa visits Kesennuma


A Santa Claus from Finland on Wednesday delivered presents to nursery school children in tsunami-damaged Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture.

The Santa, certified as genuine by the Finnish government, was given a rousing welcome by the 47 children, who enthusiastically waved and sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

As he distributed presents and posed for photos with the children in the heavily damaged Kawarada area, he said “kiitos” (thank you) and promised to return next year as long as they continue to be good.

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