Japan tsunami dog reunited with owner

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Media captionTsunami dog reunited with owner - courtesy Japan Coast Guard

A dog rescued from a roof drifting off Japan's north-east coast more than three weeks after a quake and tsunami has been reunited with her owner.

The owner recognised the dog from a TV news report on the rescue on Friday.

The female owner and the two-year-old dog called Ban had an emotional reunion at an animal care centre where she was being looked after.

"We'll never let go of her," the owner, who wished to remain anonymous, was quoted as saying by a centre official.

The dog was found by a Japan Coast Guard crew on a drifting roof some 1.8km (1.1 miles) off Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, one of the worst-hit areas along Japan's north-east coast.

The roof is believed to have been detached and washed out to sea by the retreating waters of the devastating tsunami, which hit the country on 11 March.

Ban immediately jumped up and wagged her tail when her owner appeared, local media reported.

"I'm happy for the reunion, after they were separated by the disaster," Toshiro Suzuki, head of the animal shelter was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

He said the shelter is caring for 19 dogs and several cats separated from their owners after the tsunami.