A town wiped out by a tsunami 25 years ago is a lesson in what not to do after disaster

By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer and Yumi Asada on Okushiri Island, Hokkaido

Updated October 26, 2018 20:42:58

Photo: The vineyard at the remote Okushiri Winery is keeping elderly residents of the island employed. (ABC News: Yumi Asada)

On a picturesque island off the coast of Hokkaido in northern Japan, elderly workers are hand-picking grapes for what is perhaps one of the world’s most remote wineries.

It’s hard work — just four people picking 25 hectares of vineyards — and because it’s close to the sea, salt and wind make life even harder.

This is more than just a business — it’s been a lifeline that’s kept the elderly employed and given this island hope for the future.

Photo: The picturesque island is still coming to terms with the devastation of a tsunami 25 years ago. (ABC News: Yumi Asada)

Twenty-five years ago a devastating earthquake and tsunami killed hundreds of locals — and now the island is facing a new battle for survival.

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