Oregon Asks Japan For Info On Debris

By Kristian Foden-Vencil

Oregon authorities have contacted the Japanese Consulate in Portland to find out whether a piece of presumed tsunami debris that washed up at Oceanside on Friday, is culturally significant.

Chris Havel of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says staff were called about part of a boat. 

Chris Havel: "When they went to Oceanside and took a look. It was immediately apparent that it was not part of a boat. It was an eight foot long gracefully curved piece of wood that had been painted bright red. It had marine growth on it. But it was clearly part of a structure rather than part of a boat of some sort."

Havel says it could be part of a freestanding arch common in Japan called a Torii. The arch delineates the boundary of a sacred site -- like a Buddhist Temple or Shinto Shrine. 

Chris Havel: "We have asked the consulate, if in the construction of one of these gates, if there tends to be a mark placed on it somewhere that we ought to be looking for, to give them photographs of some specific part of it. So they can try and nail down the location."

Havel says they're waiting to hear from the Japanese Consulate.

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