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Japan tsunami bones to wash up in US: oceanographer May 25,2012   |  Source: AFP

Shoes containing human bones from people killed by the 2011 Japanese tsunami are likely to begin washing up on the US West Coast later this year, an expert has said.

Curt Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer and expert on marine currents, drift patterns and beachcombing, said the leading edge of a debris field from last year's killer tsunami should begin arriving in October.

"I think there will be bones in sneakers washing up over the years," said Ebbesmeyer, who spoke at a symposium on the subject earlier this week in Washington state.

"There are still 3,000 people missing from the tsunami, so these may be the last remains that a family has," he said.

Debris swept across the Pacific could wash ashore anywhere from northern California to Alaska. "Bones and sneakers can float for years, so I expect them to wash ashore," Ebbesmeyer said.

"I expect the main mass of debris to start arriving in October, so I would guess later this year, and for the next several years." He urged beachcombers to be on the lookout - but urged them to contact police with any finds so the authorities can follow up through the proper channels, if necessary through Japanese consulates here.

Ebbesmeyer said he had briefed Japanese consular officials in Seattle.

"They only really want to

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