The contents of 16-year-old Misaki Murakami’s home in Rikuzentakata was all destroyed after the 11 March tsunami last year.

David Baxter, a rader technician, was combing beaches on Middleton Island, 70 miles south of the Alaskan mainland, when he found Misaki’s football washed ashore.

“When I first saw the soccer ball I was excited to see it and I thought it was possible it came from the tsunami zone,” Baxter told the Associated Press.

Baxter’s wife Yumi, who is Japanese, managed to get in contact with Misaki after she read messages of encouragement written on the ball, which was a gift given to Misaki after he left school.

The couple were due to visit Japen in May but decided to post the ball to Misaki instead.

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