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.