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Japanese debris on US Pacific Coast - What to do ?

August 5, 2012


Japan's debris team inspects Oregon coast



A Japanese survey team has inspected a beach in Oregon and collected debris from last year's tsunami in northeastern Japan.

Part of the debris that was washed away by the tsunami has reached the US West Coast. The disposal of this garbage has become a big issue.

The Japanese government intends to help collect the debris. The 9-member survey team includes staff from JEAN -- a Japanese non-governmental organization dealing with the sea garbage issue -- and Environment Ministry officials.

They helped local volunteers to clean up Canon Beach on Saturday.

The amount of garbage that has drifted ashore has doubled or tripled since the start of this year. It's believed that much of the debris came from Japan.

A surfer in his 20's says he has no idea what will come next, and he is worried that the beautiful beach will be contaminated.

A large floating pier from Aomori Prefecture recently washed ashore in Oregon.

The head of JEAN, Azusa Kojima, says she is impressed by the amount of preparation that was carried out before the debris started to arrive.

She said she will consult the other members to come up with the best measures to tackle the problem.

The survey team will stay in the US until Tuesday to discuss the scale of support that is needed.


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