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JAPAN: Residents of tsunami-hit town plan disaster tourism

A group of residents is using what little is left in their tsunami-devastated town to raise funds through tourism. Keiichi Abe, 43, who heads the group, and other members were discussing how they can make money on their own, without relying on outside assistance, when they concluded that the only choice was to use the tsunami-hit town itself as a tourist center. The group, called Oraga Otsuchi Yume Hiroba Sozo Iinkai, outlined its business plans at the end of September. With no stores left in downtown Otsuchi, tourists will stay at residents' homes and experience fishing and farming. The group plans to set up a showroom to display the March 11 tsunami damage and history of the town as well as train guides. It also plans to produce souvenirs that best represent the disaster zone and homemade dishes using local specialties. The group consists of about 20 members, mostly in their 20s to 40s, including supporters and consultants. Abe said the residents need to work with c

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