Mountain Caretaker Fixing Rain Damage 35 Years after JAL Crash

Society Lifestyle

Ueno, Gunma Pref., Aug. 12 (Jiji Press)--As Wednesday marked 35 years since the crash of a Japan Airlines <9201> jumbo jet killing 520 people, the caretaker of the ridge where the crash occurred is working tirelessly to fix the mountain paths and monuments damaged by torrential rains last October.

Kanichi Kurosawa spent last month cutting away fallen trees and maintaining the paths halfway up the Osutaka Ridge in the village of Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Rains from a strong typhoon last year swept away some of the monuments marking the names of those killed in the accident, caused trees to fall and triggered landslides. More than nine months after the rain disaster, the mountain still looks freshly scarred by the downpours.

With help from the village office and JAL, Kurosawa said he was able to achieve "the bare minimum level of temporary restoration" for the mountain paths, which relatives of victims climb every year on the anniversary of the crash. However, some of the paths leading up to certain monuments still remain treacherous.

"It will still take time," he said. "I want to fix the broken places one by one."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press