Man goes on weekly dives in search of missing wife lost in 2011 Japan tsunami
Published on: Wednesday, March 10, 2021
By: Newshub
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Yasuo Takamatsu, 64, dives weekly in search of his wife Yuko (L) who went missing in the devastating 2011 tsunami in Japan. (Photo: AP/Screengrabs)
A man who lost his wife in a devastating tsunami a decade ago still has hope that he will find her remains. 

Yasuo Takamatsu, 64, lost his wife Yuko when the most powerful earthquake in Japanese history - the magnitude 9.0 Great East Japan earthquake, also known as the Tōhoku earthquake - triggered a powerful tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Waves more than 15 metres in height swept through the port of Onagawa, located in Miyagi prefecture, claiming 827 lives - nearly 10 percent of the town's population - and destroying 70 percent of its buildings.

Two years later, Takamatsu obtained his diving license in a bid to find his wife, whose body was never located. 

For seven years, the 64-year-old has gone on weekly dives in search of Yuko - that's 470, and counting. 

"I dive as if I'm going to meet her someplace," he said, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). 

"I'm always thinking that she may be somewhere nearby."

In addition to his solo endeavours, Takamatsu also accompanies local authorities on a monthly underwater search, an ongoing effort to locate the remains of roughly 2500 people who are still unaccounted for 10 years later.

The 64-year-old has discovered albums, clothes and other artefacts during his dives, but nothing that belonged to his wife.

He said he will keep searching for "as long as my body moves". 

"In the last text message that she sent me, she said, 'Are you OK? I want to go home'," he said, according to AP. 

"I'm sure she still wants to come home."


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