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Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

John Travolta support boosts Rikuzentakata's preservation of 'miracle pine'

Kyodo

MORIOKA, Iwate Pref. — The city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture has received a message of support from U.S. actor John Travolta for its efforts to preserve the "miracle pine" that was still standing after last year's tsunami.

The movie star sent the city an autographed picture with a handwritten message asking the public to help preserve the tree under the "Miracle Pine Rescue Project," a Rikuzentakata official said Tuesday.

The pine was the only one of about 70,000 in the area to survive the tsunami of March 11, 2011. But its roots were ruined by exposure to seawater, prompting efforts to preserve the tree, which has become a symbol of the city's recovery.

Rikuzentakata is soliciting donations for the ¥150 million preservation project and sent letters in late August seeking messages of support from about 70 global celebrities.

The city has put Travolta's message on its Facebook page to encourage donations, hoping his message will spark interest worldwide in preserving the "miracle pine."



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