Japanese workers begin search for tsunami bodies in Okawa 19 months later
By Julian Ryall -- Oct 11
Work has finally begun to find some of those still listed as missing following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, 19 months on.
Okawa, an area to the south of the Kitakami river, which flooded despite extensive embankments, was left beneath the level of the sea due to the massive surface movements caused by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
It has taken engineers 19 months to build new protective dykes and pump the seawater out of an area covering 106 hectares.
In total, 15,870 people have been confirmed dead in north-east Japan, while a further 2,814 are still listed as missing. Of the missing, 23 were swept away from this district of the city of Ishinomaki, including four children and one teacher from the school.
The remains of 74 pupils at the school have been identified.
Teams made up of police officers, employees of the city board of education and other volunteers began the search on Monday, sifting through the mud and debris with hand tools while heavy machinery excavated larger sections.
With crackdowns on violators of child prostitution and pornography statutes having increased in recent years, Nikkan Gendai (May 17) wonders how a manager of an online operation that primarily sold lolicon (“Lolita complex”) films was able to evade detection for an extended period prior to his arrest earlier this month. (Tokyo Reporter)
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )