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Japan donates $5 million to US to aid in cleanup of tsunami debris that wash ashore

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FILE - Clothing lie in heaps at the site of a neighborhood destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in Rikuzentakata, Japan. (AP2012)

Japan is providing $5 million to the U.S. to help with collection and disposal of marine debris from its March 2011 tsunami disaster.

The Foreign Ministry announced the donation to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda informed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the plan during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

A huge tsunami triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011, earthquake off Japan's northeastern coast washed many tons of debris into the sea and killed or left missing more than 18,000 people.

NOAA has said it expects some of the debris to wash up on U.S. shores in the next several years. Japan's donation will help fund its monitoring, removal and processing.