After soul-searching, Japan city votes to destroy tsunami ship landmark

Flowers are left by a stranded fishing boat in Japan's coastal city of Kesennuma on Aug. 11, 2013. Azusa Uchikura / AP

A stranded fishing boat that became a symbol of the devastation of Japan's 2011 tsunami has long divided a northeastern coastal city — between those who wanted to keep it as a monument of survival and those who wanted a painful reminder gone.

Last week, the city of Kesennuma announced it will be torn down after a heated debate and citywide vote. The soul-searching over the ship highlights how the aftermath of the tsunami disaster continues to torment Japan two years later.

The 360 ton Kyotokumaru, which was swept about 800 yards inland, has become a landmark for the city and a testament to the destructive power of the tsunami, which killed nearly 19,000 people. Read the full story.

The ship sits amid tsunami debris on March 12, 2011. Kyodo via AP, file
City officials announced last week that the boat, which has become a symbol of the devastation of the disaster, will be torn down. Azusa Uchikura / AP