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Japanese man asks small-town US mayor to look for his possessions after tsunami

A small-town Washington state mayor got an intriguing piece of mail: a postcard from an elderly Japanese man asking the mayor to keep an eye out for his possessions lost in the devastating 2011 tsunami.

“I wasn’t sure about it,” Bill Simpson, the mayor of Aberdeen, told local paper The Daily World. “Is it a joke? But, then I got to think about it, and, I think it’s real.”

The writer of the postcard identifies himself as Mr. Saito, a 77-year-old from a ward of Sapporo, Japan. He explains that he “lost my collected surveyed amounts’ library cards” when they were swept out to sea by the tsunami, and had heard some items from the tsunami were washing up on the shores of the Pacific Northwest.

“To your seashore areas, have you been observing the floated materials?” Saito asks according to The Daily World. “If you find some, please let me know any news. I don’t use any electric tools now here, so please, to me by air letter!”

The postcard cost 70 yen and was stamped as air mail in Sapporo. Simpson said the postcard, which was simply addressed to "the mayor of Aberdeen in Washington state of the United States of America," was a bit difficult to read but he was able to make out the message.

Simpson tells the paper that he wishes he knew more details about the man and his story. 

“This man felt compelled to write us, looking for what he lost,” Simpson told The Daily World.

Simpson tells the paper they haven't found many tsunami debris in the area because of the currents of a local harbor.

Click for more from The Daily World.