Japanese film crew documents tsunami debris in Alaska

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Japanese tsunami debris on the open ocean, March 2011.
U.S. Navy photo
Debris float in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the nation on March 11.
U.S. Navy photo
An aerial view of debris from an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck northern Japan.
U.S. Navy photo
This figure shows the probable pathways of the debris that entered the ocean on March 11, 2011, as estimated from historical trajectories of drifting buoys
Nikolai Maximenko, International Pacific Research Center

Japan’s national public broadcasting station, NHK, is filming a documentary addressing the debris continuing to wash ashore around Alaska from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. This week the crew will visit Kodiak Island to collect footage, according to the Kodiak Daily Mirror.

NHK wants to help raise awareness over the amount of debris showing up on U.S. shores, particularly in Alaska.

Noboru Nakashima, NHK’s Los Angeles bureau chief, told the Daily Mirror:

Most of (the filming) is about awareness, the tsunami debris is a big trouble to the North American people. It not only affects the Japanese people, but the world.

The tsunami debris washing ashore in Alaska has been well-documented since the first pieces started showing up on Aleutian Island beaches. NHK producer Jun Matsuda says the fallout in Alaska has been more extensive than in other places along America's western shores:

The amount of debris in Alaska is much more here than the rest of the West Coast. It's also it's difficult to reach the beaches here. Alaska is so large and sparsely populated. It looks like it's more difficult to gather the debris and process.

The documented footage featuring Kodiak is scheduled to air in November on NHK in Japan.