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Japanese Boy's Football Lost In Tsunami Turns Up In Alaska

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Baxter and his wife, Yumi, plan to send the ball back to its rightful owner, Misaki Murakami
Baxter and his wife, Yumi, plan to send the ball back to its rightful owner, Misaki Murakami

Last year's earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan caused vast amounts of damage to the country, took lives and ruined towns and cities across the islands. There were few feel-good stories to come from the disaster, but one year on, there is a new, lucky one.

On the other side of the Pacific Ocean to Japan lies the United States, specifically, Alaska. On Middleton Island, which itself lies 70 miles out from the American west coast, David Baxter and his wife Yumi came across something at the beach that instantly seemed out of place.

According to the BBC, they found a football with the name Misaki Murakami written on it. The football, it turns out, had found its way from the town on Rikuzen-takata, bobbing along on the Pacific Ocean, before nestling on the shore of the Alaskan island.

Baxter's wife, of Japanese origin, translated the script on the ball to see the name of school and a good luck message, and immediately began plotting to return the ball to its owner.

Above: Misaki Murakami will have his ball returned to him at long last

The ball will, amazingly, be reunited with its owner, over a year since the tragedy struck the Asian country.

The boy had the ball given to him by classmates in 2005, and it became lost when floods hit Rikuzen-takata.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said of the event that "this may be one of the first opportunities since the March 2011 tsunami that a remnant washed away from Japan has been identified and could actually be returned to its previous owner."

For Murakami, the ball will have extra significance, as he lost everything in the tsunami.

"I'm very grateful as I've so far found nothing that I'd owned," he said on Sunday.

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