Blos­som­ing friend­ship

Canning Gazette - - NEWS -

CHERRY trees have been planted at a Burswood park to hon­our the vic­tims of a catastroph­ic tsunami that struck Ja­pan in 2011.

The nat­u­ral dis­as­ter be­gan with a pow­er­ful earth­quake off the north eastern coast of Hon­shu, Ja­pan’s main is­land, which caused wide­spread dam­age on land and a se­ries of tsunami waves that dev­as­tated many coastal ar­eas of the coun­try and crip­pled the Fukushima nu­clear plant.

Mut­suko Bon­nardeaux, founder of the Perth group Kan­gaeru Paw Group, said a group of vol­un­teers formed to raise money for the Miyago Pre­fec­ture, which was af­fected by the dis­as­ter.

“Miyagi Pre­fec­ture is less known than Fukushima Pre­fec­ture, how­ever it was also ter­ri­bly af­fected by the tsunami,” she said.

“Miyagi Pre­fec­ture lost 9541 lives, more than any other af­fected pre­fec­tures and five times more than Fukushima.

“If it had been only an earth­quake then most build­ings would have been still stand­ing up, as the rules to build houses that with­stand earth­quakes are very strict in Ja­pan.

“But it was the tsunami that took lots of lives and all the build­ings.”

Ms Bon­nard­deaux said eight years on from the dis­as­ter, 80 per cent of the towns had been re­built and the bul­let train re­sumed op­er­at­ing this year.

“The cherry trees will com­mem­o­rate the un­for­tu­nate peo­ple who per­ished dur­ing this dis­as­ter and we are grate­ful the Burswood Park board di­rec­tor liked the idea and al­lowed us to plant the trees at Kagoshima Park,” she said.

“The cherry trees in Perth are not the same cherry trees found in Ja­pan due to Perth’s warmer cli­mate but its blos­soms in spring, a time of re­newal, will at­tract many view­ers and of­fer per­fect shady spots for pic­nics.”

Six cherry trees were planted in a cer­e­mony on Novem­ber 21, with two dozen more to be planted when the weather is cooler.

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