Entries in Hawaii (5)


Camera Found off Taiwanese Coast, Six Years Later

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- After 2,000 days at sea, a camera dating from 2007 was found on the other side of the world, and with it, memories Lindsay Scallen thought she would have trouble reliving without her photos.

“I am absolutely astounded, blown away about all that has happened,” Scallen said. “This camera [that] I lost during a night dive when it fell off of my wrist, it survived and drifted to the other side of the world.”

Taiwanese native Douglas Cheng found the barnacled and seaweed-covered camera on the beach on Feb. 13. He uploaded the photos to his camera and realized that although the camera itself did not function, the photos were still intact.

Cheng then went to Tawainese police to figure out where the photos came from.

“The police realized the photos were taken in Honolulu, and they reached out to local news media,” Scallen said. “The article then made national news this past Sunday, and my friend saw it and sent it to me, and said, ‘Hey, someone found your camera.’”

Scallen said she spoke to Cheng via Skype on Tuesday, and he told her he found the camera on Chinese New Year, which marked a special day in his culture.

“It was really cool, we spoke about 45 minutes, and we discussed how he found it, how much it meant to Taiwanese culture to find it on this day, and how he believes in destiny,” she said. “He said it was really important for him to find me, because he was curious about my story and wanted to get the memories back to me.”

All the photos from the camera survived and contain pictures of tropical fish and marine life, along with photos of Scallen with friends. China Airlines has offered to pay room, food and board fees for Scallen to visit Taiwan, as an “honored guest of Taiwan.”

“They are going to fly me and a guest on June 2 for about a week, and I am so excited,” she said. “I feel really honored. This came at a really good time in my life, and is an extra blessing because 2013 has been a great year so far, and this added to it. It is truly unbelievable.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


US, Japan Reach Deal on Moving Marines Out of Okinawa

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- The U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to move 9,000 Marines off the southern island of Okinawa.

The proposal, which is part of the Obama administration's larger push to beef up security in Asia, was announced by both countries on Thursday.  Under the reworked deal, about 5,000 Marines will be sent to Guam, with the rest being spread out across Australia and Hawaii.

The new plan follows years of disagreements between the U.S. and Japan over the future of military bases in Okinawa.  The countries have agreed to relocate a controversial base to a remote part of the island, but strong local opposition and environmental concerns have delayed those plans.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japan Tsunami Debris to Reach Hawaii, North America

This false color image of Sendai, Japan was captured by the Landsat 7 ETM+ bands 4,3, and 2 on March 12, 2011 and shows inland areas inundated by water from the tsunami, smoke from fires burning, and clouds of debris in the water. USGS/NASA, Mike Taylor(HONOLULU) -- The devastating tsunami generated by a magnitude-9 earthquake in Japan last year created 25 million tons of debris, ripping towns and villages into the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii along with Ocean Conservancy revealed that part of the 4 to 8 million tons of debris that washed into the ocean could turn up on the northern Hawaiian islands as early as Tuesday.

“We estimate that currently, even though winter storms and ocean break down part of debris, between 1 to 2 tons of debris are floating,” said Dr. Nikolai Maximenko, senior researcher at the University of Hawaii. “A majority of debris is going to stay in the water a long time and only a small percent will hit the coastline.”

Mid-size fishery ships, small boats, lumber from broken houses and fish nets are among the many objects that could wash up on the shores.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projected this small percentage of debris could hit the northern Hawaiian islands as early as January and February of this year, while the West Coast and Alaska could see debris by 2013. Between 2014 and 2016, ocean currents will circle the remaining debris back west to the main Hawaiian Islands.

While initial photos from the tsunami showed massive clusters of debris lingering in the ocean, researchers say most is now dispersed and no longer tracked by satellite imagery.

Even with countless reports of tsunami debris findings in the past year, the only two confirmed were both distinguishable Japanese vessels. Ruth Yender, Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Coordinator for NOAA, says researchers will have to use the volume or unique characteristics in order to distinguish tsunami debris, and even more so, radioactivity is not of concern.

“It’s very highly unlikely there will be any radioactive contamination of the debris. The debris was washed out by the tsunami several days before the leak occurred, and monitoring of the discovered Japan vessels indicated that they were normal and was no high level of radioactivity.”

While those who live along the coast might be keeping their eyes peeled to get their hands on tsunami debris, Yender says soon no one will know the difference.

“Probably two to three years from now we won’t be able to distinguish between tsunami debris and normal debris.”

The tsunami caused the deaths of 13,000 people and uprooted 500,000 people from their homes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Large Tsunami Slams into Japan after 8.9 Magnitude Quake

JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan along its northeastern coast Friday, fueling a large tsunami that struck the country, leaving extensive damage and at least 200 reported dead.

The tremor hit Japan around 2:46 p.m. local time near the coast of the island of Honshu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  It was followed by at least 19 aftershocks -- including a 7.4 quake -- and a 13-foot-tall tsunami that swept away cars, trucks, homes and other buildings.

Several fires have been reported in Tokyo and its surrounding areas, including one at an oil refinery in Chiba City, NHK TV reported.  The Japanese television station also said over four million homes are without power.

"The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said during an emergency news conference.  "Some of the nuclear power plants in the region have automatically shut down, but there is no leakage of radioactive materials to the environment."

Japan's foreign minister has ordered officials to start preparing to accept foreign assistance and told them to check on the safety of foreigners living here in country, according to NHK TV.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued tsunami wave warnings for Indonesia, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and the South American Pacific coast, including Mexico, Chile and Peru, NHK TV reported.  Warnings were later issued for the entire western coast of the United States, including Alaska.

In Hawaii, tsunami warning sirens sounded as the first waves from the quake are expected to hit at 2:59 a.m. HST.  The U.S. Coast Guard says it is getting rescue crews ready to provide post-tsunami assistance if the island is hit.  People in Hawaii are being told to begin preparations to evacuate to higher ground if they're in flood zones.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japanese-American Sports Pioneer Dies at 85

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Wally Kaname Yonamine, the first American to be inducted into Japan's Baseball Hall of Fame and a former running back for the San Francisco 49ers, died Tuesday from complications of prostate cancer. He was 85.

Known as the "Nisei Jackie Robinson," Yonamine blazed a trail for the Japanese and Americans on both sides of the Pacific.

"He was an outsider with the 49ers, and he moved to Japan and became an outsider for the opposite reason -- because he was American as opposed to being Asian," said author Robert K. Fitts, who wrote Yonamine's biography Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball, released in 2008.

A native of Maui, Yonamine was born to immigrant farm workers. He began playing football as a child, and excelled as a star running back at Honolulu's Farrington High School. In 1944, his senior year, Yonamine led his team to an undefeated season and championship.

Considered one of the greatest athletes to come out of Hawaii, the football player was set to accept a scholarship from Ohio State University when the San Francisco 49ers came calling. He signed a two-year contract and headed to the Bay Area as the first Japanese-American football player to play professionally, just a year after the end of World War II.

Yonamine started three of 12 games his first year, and his football career ended after just one season, but his impact remained well beyond that. The 49ers established the Perry/Yonamine Unity Award in 2007, a title awarded to a 49ers player, a Bay Area youth football coach, and a local company that demonstrates commitment to promoting unity with their team and community.

Yonamine played in the Pacific Coast League before heading to Japan in 1951 at the age of 26. The left-handed infielder began his Japanese baseball career with the Yomiuri Giants, becoming the first American to play professional sports in Japan following the war.

He helped transform Japanese baseball from a passive style game to an aggressive one, when he slid hard into second to break up a double play in his first game. He achieved a .311 career batting average, won three batting titles and was named an All-Star seven times. In 1954, Yonamine became the first foreigner to win the Central League batting title with a .361 average, and he led the league in hits, doubles, and runs scored.

Years after his playing career ended, Yonamine served as a coach or manager with six teams over 26 years. His biggest accomplishment came in 1974, when he guided the Chunichi Dragons to their first Japan Series title, ending the Giants' nine-year championship reign.

In 1994, Yonamine became the first foreigner to be inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. Four years later, he was honored by the Emperor of Japan for his career as a player and ambassador.

Following his career in baseball, Yonamine and his family ran pear stores in Tokyo and the Los Angeles area.

Yonamine is survived by his wife Jane, daughters Amy Roper and Wallis Yamamoto, and son Paul.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio