Gold bars sent to devastated town in Japan


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The Independent Online

People in the small fishing port of Ishinomaki have expressed their shock and gratitude after being sent gold bars in the post by an anonymous benefactor.

Two gold bars weighing 1kg each were sent to a destroyed fish market in Ishinomaki, and to two tsunami support organisations earlier in February. Now, around two weeks later, the recipients still have no idea who sent them.

Kunio Sunow, President of the Ishinomaki Fish Market, which was ruined in the disaster, opened a parcel that was addressed to him in early February, and was surprised to discover its contents.

"I was stunned," He told AFP. "We don't have to identify this person of goodwill...But we want to let them know we are grateful. If possible, I want to invite him or her to the completion of a new market." The market is due to be finished in 2015.

"We couldn't be more grateful," said Seitaro Omori, who works for Manbow, a company helping to rebuild Ishinomaki which received two of the bars.

The Ishinomaki Revival Support Network also received a mystery package with gold bars enclosed. Yoshie Kaneko, who heads the group, said: "I opened the mail half-worried as it was heavy... and then everybody in the room said 'Wow!'"

The packages were all handwritten in similar handwriting, had 'assistance' written on the outside, and were wrapped in pages from a health magazine for the elderly - suggesting that the same altruist was behind all of the gifts.

At current market prices, each bar could be more than £26,000.