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Wednesday, 20th June 2012
In General Japan News,

Kayakers in Washington find Japanese home parts

Debris that has washed up on the remote beaches off the coast of Washington, US, could be that of a Japanese house destroyed in the March 11th tsunami last year.

The discovery was made by a trio of kayakers who are paddling down the west coast of the US to survey the tsunami debris as part of the Ikkatsu Project, the Associated Press reported.

Enmeshed in a pile of seaweed and driftwood, the three discovered a large quantity of timber which carried the serial number from the Diawa Pallet Housou Co – a mill in Osaka.

In addition to the timber, some of which was still held together by nails, the explorers also discovered other household items including a bottle of cough syrup and a red kerosene canister embossed with Japanese text.

Ken Campbell, one of three kayakers alongside Steve Weileman and Jason Goldstein, said that it was an exciting discovery.

"It was sobering, especially when you're smelling somebody else's cough syrup," he told the news agency. "Somebody lived here and it doesn't look like a house anymore. I was not prepared to find something like that."

However, it remains to be seen whether the discovery was in fact parts of a house or something else.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer sits on the project's advisory board and is an oceanographer based in Seattle, around 120 miles east of where the find was made. He believes that it is still too early to tell what the debris is.

"It's like an archaeological dig," he said to the AP. "It's a bunch of things that could be construed as a house."

Should the discovery turn out to be part of someone's home, it will not be the first outlandish item to have floated across the Pacific.

Earlier this month, part of a Japanese dock was discovered in Oregon, while a boy has already been reunited with his football after it floated all the way to Alaska.

Written by Susan Ballion