A huge concrete dock set adrift from tsunami-stricken Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan washed up on a beach in Newport, Oregon, on June 5, after a 15-month journey across the Pacific Ocean spanning 7,300 kilometers.
The 165-ton floating dock was ripped from Misawa on the northeast coast when tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake hit.
The Aomori prefectural government said it does not want the dock returned, but officials in Oregon are concerned about how to dispose of the dock and who will pay for it.
The dock measures 20 meters long, 6 meters wide and more than 2 meters high. It was first spotted floating offshore on June 4, according to Chris Havel, an official at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It beached north of Newport around 3 a.m. on June 5, Havel said.
From writing found engraved on a metal commemorative plaque, it was determined the dock was one of four from Misawa that washed out to sea after the tsunami last year.
Although the dock is made of concrete, its interior was filled with plastic foam that allowed it to float.
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