Japan to pay for tsunami debris disposal, says website

TOKYO – The Japanese government will reportedly help pay for the disposal of tsunami debris washing up on Canadian and U.S. shores.

As much as five million tonnes of debris were swept into the ocean when a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan in March 2011. reports Japanese officials are expected to inform Canada and the U.S. about its plans later this month.

Japan is not obligated to take care of such debris under international law.

But reports Japan sees the gesture as a way of expressing appreciation for the outpouring of support following the disaster.

Japan may also extend technical assistance for debris disposal through a non-governmental organization focused on coastal ecosystems.

Ocean currents will likely bring large amounts of debris to the Pacific coast starting in October, according to the Japanese environment ministry.

Some 40,000 tons of debris is projected to come within 10 kilometres of the North American shore by next February.

Some debris has already started coming ashore.

In June, a nearly 21-meter-long dock that floated ashore on an Oregon beach after it drifted across thousands of kilometres of Pacific Ocean.

In April, Harley-Davidson motorcycle lost in the tsunami washed up on about 6,400 kilometres away on Graham Island, off the coast of British Columbia.

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