Taipei, The Japanese owner of a camera that went missing and was discovered two years later in Yilan during a beach cleanup made a pact on Friday with the students who found it to clean the beach with them when she visits this June.
Serina Tsubakihara was able to finally meet the fifth graders of Yilan County's Yueming Elementary School who found her camera via a video call, during which she conveyed her appreciation for what they did.
She explained how she lost the camera, saying that when she was scuba diving off Ishigaki Island during the summer of 2015, one of her friends' diving tank malfunctioned.
The emergency caused her to return to the boat, which is when she lost the camera. She looked around for it afterwards but to no avail, Tsubakihara said.
No one could have guessed that the camera would make its way two and a half years later to a beach in eastern Taiwan's Su'ao Township, 234 kilometers from Ishigaki.
Ho Chao-en (???), the fifth grader who found the camera, told Tsubakihara that when he first saw the case that the camera was kept in, he thought it was a discarded black box and was thinking of throwing it in the trash.
Upon further inspection, however, he saw that it was actually a moss-covered, waterproof camera case with a functional camera inside, Ho said.
That was when the search for the owner began, with Ho's homeroom teacher Park Lee (???) posting a message on his personal Facebook page with a few carefully selected photos from the camera to see if the owner could be located.
Tsubakihara told the class she was looking forward to visiting them in person in June and would be delighted to go with them to where the camera was found and help clean the beach.
This story of the long-lost camera and the search for its owner has been widely reported by Taiwanese and Japanese media outlets.
Many people from both countries have praised Ho and his classmates and teacher for their kindness.
In a separate interview, Tsubakihara told CNA that it would be great if this story could deepen the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel