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Tsunami-stranded dog reunited with owner in Japan

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) April 4, 2011
A dog that was rescued from a floating roof off Japan's tsunami-battered northeast coast was reunited with its owner Monday, public broadcaster NHK said.

Two-year-old Ban yapped and jumped into the arms of her owner, a woman in her 50s and a resident of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture, a port town severely hit in the March 11 disaster, television footage showed.

A Japan Coast Guard elite rescue unit picked up the dog after spotting it on a floating house roof two kilometres (more than a mile) from Kesennuma, in a rescue widely broadcast as a rare happy moment amid the calamity.

The woman recognised her pet, which was kept in an animal shelter following its rescue late last week, after watching NHK: "I recognised her immediately after seeing her face," she said, hugging the animal.

"I am happy that she seems healthy. I want to cherish her when I take her back," she added, as Ban licked her face.

The Japan Coast Guard is still searching for thousands of people missing after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck.

The twin disasters killed 12,175 people and 15,489 remain missing, national police said Monday.

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Cat bond market could be boosted by Japanese crisis
Frankfurt (AFP) April 3, 2011
The market for bonds designed to cover natural catastrophes has taken a hit since the disasters in Japan last month, but could profit in the end from such dramatic events, specialists say. "Cat bonds" are a way for reinsurance companies to transfer part of the risks they cover to financial markets. While providing a layer of protection for issuers, they are also a lucrative investment op ... read more

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