02/19/2013 09:20 pm ET Updated Feb 20, 2013

Goodwill Gold Rush: Japanese Tsunami Town Gets Anonymous Gifts Of Gold In The Mail


An anonymous donor is showing Japan a heart of gold.

A so-called "goodwill gold rush" has hit a Japanese fishing port that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami, according to Australia News Network. About 10 days ago, packages containing bars of gold began arriving in Ishinomaki, which is located in Miyagi prefecture.

Two tsunami support groups and the local fish market were each given 4.4 pounds in an anonymous parcel sent from Nagano, AFP reported. In total, the gold's estimated worth comes to $250,000.

"Since it was labelled as 'miscellaneous goods,' I casually opened the box," Kunio Suno, president of Ishinomaki Fish Market Co. Ltd, told AFP. "I was stunned."

Suno said the package contained 24k gold in two plates, both in sheets of bubble wrap. One was wrapped in brown paper and the other in a page from a magazine.

The tsunami, which was generated by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, struck on March 11, 2011. More than 3,000 Ishinomaki residents died as ocean waves swept over 46 percent of the city's land.

A year after the disaster, some townspeople, finding government efforts lacking, took it upon themselves to aid in reconstruction, The Huffington Post reported.

Suno said it's good to know they haven't been forgotten.

"We very much appreciate the sender's donation," another resident told BBC. "We will never waste it."



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