KAMAISHI, Iwate Prefecture--A 4,724-ton freighter that was swept inland by the March 11 tsunami has been finally returned to its natural setting.
Tidal waves carried the 100-meter Asia Symphony over a pier wall at Kamaishi Port here, where it had been a major eyesore for the past seven months.
Local residents had campaigned for the vessel to be removed, saying it not only interfered with road traffic but was a painful reminder of destruction caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Workers first unloaded the cargo and then removed the fuel because of weight limitations in lifting the vessel by crane.
A crane ship brought to the site had a maximum lifting capacity of 4,000 tons so the weight of the ship was brought down to about 2,300 tons. The freighter was raised by using 32 cables and then slowly transported to Kamaishi Port.
"Finally, one symbol of the destruction of the tsunami has been removed," said a local resident.
The Asia Symphony was anchored at Kamaishi Port when a huge tsunami swept the bow and sent it crashing through a coastal levee. The ship ended up sticking out over a road.
The unusual sight also attracted visitors, curious to see the awesome force that nature can inflict on coastal areas.
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