Beach reopens 10 years after tsunami

NHK -- Jul 18
A popular beach in Iwate prefecture that was badly damaged in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami has reopened for the first time since the disaster.

Takata-matsubara beach was one of the most popular beaches in northeastern Japan. But the disaster destroyed 90 percent of the sandy beach and all 70,000 pine trees in the area, except one, which miraculously survived the tsunami.

Authorities reopened the beach following the completion of restoration with the planting of 40,000 pine trees with the help of a local non-profit organization and others.

In a ceremony on Saturday, the mayor of Rikuzentakata city, Toba Futoshi, wished for a safe environment for everyone who visits the beach.

A man from a nearby city said he often visited the beach in his childhood and he hoped his children will have similar happy memories of playing at the beach.

The mayor said the opening of the beach will help revitalize his city and that he hopes it will attract many visitors.

The reborn-beach has an electric evacuation board to warn people in the event of a tsunami, in addition to lifeguards and a wireless, disaster alert speaker system.

- NHK