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INTERVIEW: Mayor Recalls Decision to Preserve Tsunami-Wrecked Town Building

INTERVIEW: Mayor Recalls Decision to Preserve Tsunami-Wrecked Town Building

   Minamisanriku, Miyagi Pref., June 14 (Jiji Press)--Jin Sato, mayor of the northeastern Japan town of Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, believed it was his responsibility to decide whether to preserve or demolish a town building ravaged by the March 2011 tsunami.
   "Because I felt guilty for surviving the disaster, I thought I had to be the one who decides," Sato said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.
   The building is now set to be preserved as a disaster relic of the town, after its management is returned from the Miyagi prefectural government to the town on July 1.
   On March 11, 2011, a tsunami triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake engulfed the three-story town building, killing 43 people, including town officials who were urging residents to evacuate.
   Only 10 people, including Sato, survived at the building, which housed the town government's disaster prevention functions but was reduced to a reddish brown steel frame after the disaster.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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