Scrapping of tsunami ship begins

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  • -8

    Francis Urquhart

    No! This is wrong! This ship should remain as a symbol and possibly be converted into a museum. As unpalatable as it may seem, disaster tourists will come to see things like this, and frankly, if they want to come, why not make some money from it? It's not as thought the area doesn't need it! If this ship is to be dismantled because it makes people feel bad, then the Hiroshima Bomb Dome should be dismantled too.

  • -8

    LiveInTokyo

    I'm in agreement with you Francis. The ship could have been a great memorial for that tragic day. I think it would have been far more meaningful than that silly tree which is dead and propped up with concrete and steel.

  • 9

    slumdog

    While I understand feelings as outsiders suggesting the ship should have remained as a memorial, 70% of the people in the area voted to have it scrapped in the poll on the issue and that should be respected.

  • -6

    Francis Urquhart

    Can't these people stop wasting money FFS! 50 million yen dismantling what is, essentially, a tourist attraction, albeit a macabre one. And why dismantle it? It looks pretty seaworthy to me! I mean, it managed to float there! If you can get it back to the ocean why not refit it, if it is not to remain where it is? I thought Japan was into recycling things rather than throwing them away. Folk seem to get mightily uptight if you put something in the wrong bin!

  • 6

    Heda_Madness

    That's right, criticise the survivors for wanting this removed. Afterall, it's not them that have to live with this huge reminder of that tragic day, and have it in their face on a daily basis.

    Oh wait a second...

    It's not up to me or you what the people of Tohoku should do. If they want to keep something as a memorial, it's up to them. Likewise if they want something removed, it's up to them. All we, those who were lucky and weren't effected can do, is to support them in anyway we can. Or alternatively you can abuse them from your keyboard I guess.

  • -6

    Francis Urquhart

    It's 'affected' Heda, and it isn't abuse, but common sense. On the other hand, you're right! If they want it removed, then fine. It's only 50 million after all, and it's not as though people would come and pay to see it!

  • 8

    slumdog

    Francis,

    People have a right to decide what they town they live in looks like.

  • 5

    Heda_Madness

    Thanks for the correction Francis, you are of course correct, it should have read affected.

    However, if you're house was destroyed by a car... or if you lost a loved one in some kind of accident. Would you personally want the car left there as a reminder for what happened? And as such I can understand why, no matter the cost, the vast majority of people would want it removed.

  • 4

    TSRnow

    If it takes 150 million for a tree, imagine how much this bulk of steel will cost to preserve. If you ask me, the lack of buildings close to the shore and the lost Matsubara is memento enough.

  • 4

    taj

    Francis there are plenty of other reminders. For the people whose homes used to stand where this rusting hulk sits, this is a terrible sight. And screw what some lady from Hokkaido or random guy on an English news-site thinks. The locals find it too terrible to bear. So it has to go.

  • -3

    Francis Urquhart

    @ slumdog

    People have a right to decide what they town they live in looks like.

    I don't disagree. But who is going to pay for what they do want?

    @ Heda

    However, if you're house was destroyed by a car... or if you lost a loved one in some kind of accident. Would you personally want the car left there as a reminder for what happened? And as such I can understand why, no matter the cost, the vast majority of people would want it removed.

    Again, I agree, but with people still homeless and the area still in tatters, I think there is more at stake than people's sensitivities. This is far greater than, using your example, my house being destroyed by a car. The tsunami was an epic event; the car through my house might make the local newspaper one day, and be forgotten about the next. If it had left me broke and homeless, but people wanted to see the car sticking out of my house and were willing to pay to do so for the benefit of my family, then maybe I would, yes.

  • 5

    afanofjapan

    I went to see this boat a few weeks back, and it is a powerful reminder. However, it is also smack bang on top of the foundations of a bunch of houses that were previously in that area. For me, standing in what was the entrance of a house was just as stark of a reminder.

    Let them do what they need to. I am sure they just want to rebuild their town.

  • 4

    Andrea Kobayashi

    I have seen photos of this ship taken recently by a family member who went to Kesennuma on a business trip. While bit by bit they seem to be getting the town back into working order, this ship really did look gloomy, weird and foreboding. I don't blame them for wanting it to go. From what I heard, morale there is not enormously high, they don't want to be reminded constantly of that awful day by this rusting, beached hulk.

  • -7

    Francis Urquhart

    OK, opinions accepted, this vessel is seaworthy! It should not be destroyed. but moved to a dock and what little work needs doing, done. It is such a waste to destroy it.

    It also looks kind of cool where it is, like something off of 'The Philadelphia Experiment'.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    The people have spoken, and the job is being done. Bottom line.

  • -2

    Francis Urquhart

    Good for them! Or bad for them? It isn't my ship; it isn't even in my back yard. I just saw the positive gains for keeping it where it was, or relaunching it. But as you say 'the people have spoken'. I hope they find their 'voice' in more vital issues too, though I know that they won't.

  • 1

    Mark Nisbet

    Why does it cost 150 million yen to prop up a tree but a third of that to dismantle a whole ship?

  • 3

    slumdog

    Why does it cost 150 million yen to prop up a tree but a third of that to dismantle a whole ship?

    It is easier to break than it is to make.

  • 4

    Himajin

    And why dismantle it? It looks pretty seaworthy to me! I mean, it managed to float there! If you can get it back to the ocean why not refit it, if it is not to remain where it is?

    Do you know for a fact it's 'seaworthy'? Ships take a lot of maintenance, and the generators haven't been turned on in over two years. Any supplies on board have gone rotten. Who knows how much damage it took crashing through seawalls and buildings on its way to where it is? To refit it would mean moving it....a ship this large may not be able to be moved by cranes etc, and the cost of that is also probably sky high.

    I don't know how much of a tourist revenue generator it would be. You can't get on it or in it (without some structure build around it, access etc, again more money) , so how do you charge people to look at it, or charge them for taking pictures of it when it's just there in the middle of the town? Unless you build something around it or to it, you can't restrict photo access and claim it as a 'site' and charge for it.

    it is also on land belonging to a few people, none of which have any connection to the ship...I'm sure they'd like their land back, to rebuild their own houses. You couldn't count on enough revenue to purchase the land from the land owners at a decent price, the thing has got to go.

  • -4

    Alex Einz

    apparently its more important than improving living conditions...cant argue with majority that want to throw money in the wind

  • 0

    Daijoboots

    I'm at the site now, cranes and three meter high fencing going up around it, should be finished by tomorrow but there is still an open spot from the road and another where the trucks go in and out at the back. Can still see most of it over the fence anyway.

  • 1

    bruinfan

    That is their decision and it should be respected. However, people should not forget this disaster and build too close to the areas most vulnerable to future tsunamis.

  • 0

    I'm A Monkey

    @Daijoboots: Thanks for the live report. Pretty cool.

    @Francis Urquhart: Good thoughts. Nice try.

  • 1

    Scnadal.Lova

    well if its what the people want then its alright I guess.

  • 2

    Himajin

    apparently its more important than improving living conditions...cant argue with majority that want to throw money in the wind

    It will improve the lives of the people whose land it's now sitting on...

  • 2

    Dejan Tolj

    @Francis Urquhart: Its impossible to move this ship back to the ocean, its like trying to move a beached whale, its simple too huge.

  • 2

    JohnBecker

    It would be nice if some identifiable remnant of the ship were kept and placed somewhere in the town as a memorial. Maybe an anchor or a propeller.

  • 1

    taj

    JohnBecker, I understand your sentiment.

    However, for people from Kessennuma, there are loads of memorials and sites. Half their city in fact. This ship is just one that is an easy one for outsiders. It makes good photos. It's big and hulking and right next to the highway. It means more to people who haven't been there and seen the whole of the place.

    I suspect it's not important enough to the locals that it needs to be kept, and that they'll choose something that means more to them. Like the old bank building or something.

  • -1

    Alex Einz

    Himajin, if after that disaster they want to go back to that same piece of land that their ancestors warned not to build on due to this exact reason...by all means they should but they should forfeit any government compensation all the same.

  • 3

    Himajin

    Alex, I hear this type of comment often and it's rather cavalier, in my opinion. Are paid-for plots of land from the government in the offing? It's all very well to say 'if they go back there they should forfeit help', but how many can actually afford to go somewhere else? Too many people are still holding mortgages on houses that no longer exist, and all their possessions were washed away. Where does the money for new safer land somewhere else come from? How do they pay for it, and their present mortgages, at the same time? The banks don't just forgive debt because the house isn't there anymore.

    their ancestors warned not to build on

    ? The last major tsunami in the area was in 869...I'm not surprised if after all that time, people became complacent.

  • -1

    Scnadal.Lova

    three words. WALK AROUND IT

  • 1

    Himajin

    It sits on 3-4 people's land.

    Sooner of later it will disintegrate and become a hazard.

    'walking around' it isn't going to solve the problem.

  • -2

    Alex Einz

    Himajin, all well and dandy, but your are responsible for your actions. Any plot of land you buy comes with proper earthquake and tsunami probability research included ( mine did and its the law ) - it is up to you to decide if the risk is worth it or not. They apparently gambled, getting cheaper plot of land... it is definitely not a government job to compensate them. They should have gotten better insurance.

  • 2

    Himajin

    What are you talking about? Does your home owner's policy cover you for once-in-a-thousand-year earthquakes, tsunami,and wandering fishing trawlers?? Do you know how much earthquake insurance is, and how little it actually covers? 20 man or more per year, but then you're not covered if your house burns down in an earthquake, and given that fact, I doubt water damage is covered either.

    I would be interested in any documentation you have, or the names of the documents themselves regarding the research included in your land purchase. We've bought land several times (moving twice, buying land for a business, for two locations) and I do not recall 'earthquake and tsunami probability' papers for each plot.

    In addition, if the land has been lived on for 80-100 years by the same family there ARE no papers...we are just selling a plot that 's been rented from MIL's family for 110 years (MILs grandfather on down) and believe me, no one can find the even the original contract for the rental. It's quite, quite common for land to be passed down. These people were also told the seawall was sufficient.

    All in all, I just find your attitude (get out or give up government assistance) cold-hearted for starters, and not well grounded in the reality of double mortgages after a disaster.

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    Cold hearted, you bet - I dont think my tax should be used for that, voluntarily donation - maybe but hell not my tax. I will dig you up the docs names, beautiful maps describing height and how prone that land to earthquakes or tsunami , maybe its just here in Tokyo... Home owner policy no - but my mortgage yes, I took the option, its a bit more percentage but well worth it for anycase. and on the point of in family transfer...well I guess their grandparents should have been more diligent

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