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Japan donates $5M for tsunami debris cleanup

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:26 a.m. HST, Nov 30, 2012

The blue plastic bin fished out of the water off Windward Oahu on Wednesday has been confirmed as debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

TOKYO » Japan is providing $5 million to the U.S. to help with collection and disposal of marine debris from its 2011 tsunami disaster.

The Foreign Ministry announced the donation to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda informed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the plan during a meeting in September on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

A huge tsunami triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011 off Japan's northeastern coast killed or left missing more than 18,000 people and washed millions of tons of debris into the sea.

NOAA has said it expects some of the debris to wash up on U.S. shores in the next several years. Japan's donation will help fund its monitoring, removal and processing.

About 70 percent of the tsunami debris is said to have sunk, but a few items have been confirmed as having floated across the Pacific, including a large plastic bin used to transport seafood that landed in Hawaii, a fishing dock found on the Oregon coast, buoys and other flotsam and jetsam.

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Kuahiwi wrote:
Japan should keep this money. There are thousands still homeless and without jobs in northern Japan, e.g., Kesennuma. They need this money more than we do. The Japanese government has been too slow to help these people.
on November 30,2012 | 10:54AM
Snator wrote:
Agree. It's not like it was Japan's fault that all this happened.
on November 30,2012 | 11:57AM
HaoleGuy wrote:
This was a natural disaster and there is no way Japan should pay anything except to help their own people. Incredibly generous offer, but the US should respectfully decline, with thanks.
on November 30,2012 | 07:25PM
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