Remains Identified as Missing Tsunami Victim

Society Lifestyle

Watari, Miyagi Pref., Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--Remains found by a fishing boat off the Pacific coast of Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in August have been identified as those of a part-time driving school employee who went missing after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the prefectural police department said Thursday.

The remains of Maki Okubo, who was 27 when the tsunami struck her workplace, were handed to her parents the same day.

According to the police in the town of Watari in Miyagi, a chin bone and a tooth fragment, which were found caught in a fishing net off the disaster-hit town of Yamamoto in Miyagi were identified on Oct. 11 as Maki's through DNA testing and dental identification.

"I'm so happy, almost as if my daughter came back alive," Maki's father, Mitsuo, 66, said with a soft expression on his face after collecting the remains at the Watari police station. The woman's mother, Keiko, 61, said in tears, "I'm glad she finally came back, although she has become so light."

"I want to tell the bereaved families of missing victims not to give up," the mother added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press