Work starts to scrap beached ship

Kyodo

A nonprofit organization on Monday began dismantling a 330-ton fishing vessel washed ashore by the March 2011 tsunami that has become a landmark in one of the hardest-hit cities in the Tohoku region.

Although the stricken vessel, the Kyotoku Maru No. 18, had become a tourist attraction, a plan by the city of Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, to preserve it as a memorial met with resistance from local residents, who said it was only preserving bitter memories of the disaster.

The opposition led the boat’s owner, fishery firm Gisuke Gyogyo K.K. in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, to decide to scrap it.

“While the presence of the vessel here may have bothered people, it has played a certain role in informing the public of the danger of tsumani,” President Katsuyuki Yanai, 40, told reporters as he visited the site.

The NPO Ship Recycle Muroran from Hokkaido began by erecting walls around the ship to ensure safety and control noise.