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Photo Journal: Timely sad reminder

(Mainichi/Shinnosuke Kyan)

Demolition workers on Jan. 15 carry a clock that was hung on the outer wall of the two-story town hall of Otsuchi, in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate, which showed the height of tsunami waves that followed the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Mayor Kozo Hirano plans to start tearing down the building this week. Aside from the clock, a mobile ladder, fluorescent lamp, parabolic antenna and two other items will be kept as tsunami relics. However bereaved families including Hitoshi Ogasawara, father of victim Yuka who was 26 at the time, have called for a halt to demolition work on the former town hall, where the then mayor and town officials lost their lives. "Anger and emptiness filled me as I saw the clock and ladder removed so easily, although the mayor promised to examine how town officials died," said 66-year-old Ogasawara. Leaders of a citizens' organization filed for an injunction to stop the demolition work and the Morioka District Court is set to hand down its ruling on Jan. 17.

    (Japanese original by Takuhide Nakao, Sanriku Support Bureau)

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