Tokyo: A man has taken up diving to try to find his wife's body — three years after she went missing in the Japanese tsunami. Yasuo Takamatsu (57), has been searching for his wife, Yuko, since she was swept away by towering waves on March 11, 2011.
Not giving up: Yasuo Takamatsu said he did not take to diving naturally but that thinking about his wife had driven him into the water. Pic/AFP
But after failing to find her on land, he has now resorted to scuba diving in a desperate attempt to recover her body.
Takamatsu, who has been pictured diving just days before the anniversary of the disaster, described his wife as a 'gentle and kind' individual.
He said his wife had sent him a final text message just half an hour after a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake shook Japan — causing the 66-foot tsunami to rush ashore.
“It read 'I want to go home',” he said. “That was the last message from her. I feel terrible thinking she is still out there. I want to bring her home as soon as possible.”
Takamatsu, a bus driver, said he did not take to diving naturally — but that thinking about his wife had 'driven' him into the water.
He added, “Emotion-wise, I have not moved a bit since then. I will feel like this, I think, until I find her.” Takamatsu said, “I do want to find her, but I also feel that she may never be discovered as the ocean is way too vast — but I have to keep looking.”
>> Yasuo Takamatsu lost his wife in the Japanese tsunami in 2011
>> He has now taken up scuba diving in desperate bid to find his wife's body
>> 'She may never be discovered, but I have to keep looking,' said the bus driver
Three years after the towering 66-foot tsunami hit the country, Japan is not officially prepared to give up the search for its missing. Thousands of police, coastguard officers and volunteers still comb muddy areas around the mouths of rivers and scour the seabed. Meanwhile, search squads uncover human remains from time to time.
Number of people who are still missing owing to the disaster