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Searchers look for bodies of 2,500 still missing since tsunami

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Very sad. I hope the families of the missing can somehow find closure.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

"Many young people and families have left the region to start new lives." Sounds like a sensible choice!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Buddha bless for the missing and their families

May all beings have happiness and be the causes of happiness; May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow

May all beings be released from suffering! ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུཾ - Om Mani Padme Hum

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And.... we all know they found nothing. What a waste if taxpayers (us) money. As always... too little, too late.

-6 ( +6 / -11 )

Good on them for searching, but I think, over time, these organized searches need to be toned down and less frequent. It's terribly sad, but I think that anything, if found, will be found randomly and not on a search. I suppose there's no harm in doing it once in a while -- a group made up of several police and the remainder being volunteers, but I can't imagine the reverse feeling of nothing being turned up yet again being that much more comforting than not knowing.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

While I feel sorry for these people lost, they keep doing these searches and never find anything

Can't we just say the bodies have been washed out to sea and allow the families some closure?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I wonder if they tried using sonar equipment to try to locate buried bodies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sonar??? what are you, a dolphin? sonar can be used if on deeper and not so murky waters ON BIGGER THINGS not on bone or pieces of bone. After two years or so nothing is left. I am quite certain it has been consumed by currents, scavengers and other critters looking for food. The bone just disintegrates with time. Nothing will ever be found.... not anymore. People need to move on.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

this just goes to show that hope is a very hard thing to destroy. i guess if the searchers find even one body then it would have been worth it for the families who lost a loved one.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

rickyvee: There is hope, but after 2 years I think it just hurts the families keeping this "hope" alive, I truly feel sorry for everyone but I think they need to allow these families to accept their love ones are sadly gone and allow for closure.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its a great effort,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A group I've been involved with with summer, (all volunteer, no tax money), found 5 human bones over two weekends in one city. That's up to 5 affected families!

And all the other families of those missing will at least know that this fine-toothed-comb, final effort was made, before the area gets filled in / covered over for rebuilding.

The areas I work in have been more thoroughly searched (and had more volunteers) than areas in Fukushima, anywhere near the reactors. Those areas are more likely to benefit from such coordinated searches.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

All those thinking that this is just a waste of time and money, should think if they can say that in the face of the families that await news of the findings of their loved ones. If there is a slight chance of finding anything I think they ought to look for them. They obviously know by now their loved ones are not coming back, but not having anything in the urn is moushiwakenai to the missing and to their ancestors.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

TSRnow: "All those thinking that this is just a waste of time and money, should think if they can say that in the face of the families that await news of the findings of their loved ones."

Like I said above, what happened was absolutely horrible, and the loved ones still alive but with no word of what happened to theirs must suffer horribly as well. I think the effort these men and women make is outstanding, but I think it needs to be limited to volunteers, perhaps under the guide of a few police and/or experienced workers. There are practical things to take into account as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A lot of police and firefighters volunteer their spare time too, smithinjapan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its understandable that the families of the individuals who's bodies have not been found want closure. Those of you who complain about the cost to the taxpayer for searching wouldn't be singing this tune if it was your family member.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smithinjapan, it's only been 2 and a half years. Don't you think the government or the local authority still has it's obligation to the people to continue these searches instead of a scattered unorganized volunteer work? The land they need to cover is huge, you know. I believe the recovery of Tohoku is not proceeding for other reasons. (Lack of land, lack of material, lack of consensus, name a few.) Not because they are doing what can be done by organization and manpower. In the aftermaths of 911, families of victims were angry claiming the official seach for the remains were cut too short. That was after 4 years of hard recovery work in a concentrated area such as manhattan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I realise culturally most Japanese families would normally need a dead body to have 'closure' on a love ones death, but what did the Police and Coastguard really except to find after 2 1/2 years????? Finding remains under a clasped building like at 911 is one thing, but we are talking about the sea which would have long claimed any remains. And why do it now??? The money could have been better spent on support of the families who lost loved ones.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Mike

It was the two and a half year anniversary of the disaster on Wednesday. Hence the timing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mike Bird, there are a lot of places, a lot terrain types, and a lot of reasons for why now.

A number of towns with a lot of missing have regular small groups that search on the 11th of each month.

In the town I'm most familiar with, there are big areas that are partially flooded, that caught a lot of "back flow". Debris got caught up in tree roots, etc. and swirled in mud and sand, and buried. At the first stage of recovery, cadaver dogs went through. Then big equipment removes the big debris; the cars and buses, and tangles of power poles. Months pass and mountain tops are carved away to make new high ground for public housing. It's now about time to fill in those low semi-flooded areas. But how about one last look?

TSR, The volunteer groups I've worked with are VERY methodical and "professional", as they do this on an on-going basis, with the leaders being full-time. And they're getting results.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seriously (very), what is this being done for? This must be for show, no? What are they hoping to find?

In my opinion, this is nothing but a waste of resources - there is really nothing to find after this long a time. I am sure some people appreciate this, but I am also convinced most people already feel they have lost family members and there is no point doing this after 2.5 years.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Even if the results will prove futile, the searches need to go on until that time when there is general agreement that all that could done was done. Then let there be burial at sea ceremonies for the missing and a monument or monuments erected to them with as many names inscribed as can be known. This should bring some kind of closure, however incomplete. Perhaps understanding that millions of souls were lost at sea without a trace should also bring a little comfort.

Death is not beautiful when you have see it or know it in empirical terms. The only comfort is that, as Dylan Thomas said, "After the first death there is no other."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this makes me so sad. 2 years later and it is still so sad. i still cant believe what happened.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is hard to imagine how it must feel to be part of the team that has to bag and classify any remains at this point. At this point in the search, they only find bones, prices of clothing with pieces of flesh and what sorts. It must be a creepy job to do but a rewarding one. Families are always eager to hear good news of their loved ones' remains being found. That must be a relief. Prayers for all involved.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TSR, The volunteer groups I've worked with are VERY methodical and "professional", as they do this on an on-going basis, with the leaders being full-time. And they're getting results.

Sorry taj, I didn't mean to offend anyone, so thank you for your comment on the volunteer groups. Still, they are volunteers and since they are doing it out of their own good will, the families will be reluctant to ask them to do anything. I believe it's up to the authorities to do these thorough searches. especially around the nuclear plant

In Japan where buddism is still the main religion when it comes to funerals, there is a ritual most people have for the deceased. From what I understand it can go on forever, but a lot of people think its important to keep it personal until the 7th(which is actually 6 years going into the 7th year). Then theres the 13th, 33rd, 50th... I am not saying keep it going for so long, but still 2 and a half years is just yesterday.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks TSR, no offence taken.

Still, they are volunteers and since they are doing it out of their own good will, the families will be reluctant to ask them to do anything. I believe it's up to the authorities to do these thorough searches.

I do not agree however, that anyone in position of authority (city, prefecture, national bureacrat? civil servant) is more suited or would do a better job of wading through muck with a long tined rake than me. City workers tend to belong behind desks and while there are exceptions, they tend not to be the best people to have in the field. In some cases at least, it is the city who has contacted the specialist volunteers groups to ask them to come search an area as the families of the missing want one more search before the city starts covering over the place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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