TOKYO – A message written in Spanish and put inside a bottle has been found on a remote island in Japan after apparently floating in the sea for more than a decade, a spokesperson for the Japanese ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, said on Friday.
The message contains a list of new year wishes for 2009, including economic prosperity, success at work, inner peace and a good mother-child relationship.
It carries the date Dec. 31, 2008, and is signed “Paly.”
The bottle containing the message was found on May 7 on the remote island of Minamitorishima, the easternmost territory belonging to Japan, situated more than 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southeast of Tokyo.
The ministry said that based on the location where it was found, the bottle could have been released in the sea in Central America or on the western coast of North America and must have floated in the Pacific for more than 10 years.
The paper on which the message was written has been taken from a Mead notebook, a brand popular in Mexico, leading to speculation in local media that it could have been written in the North American country.
Minamitorishima, a coral atoll, has an area of 1.2 square kilometers and is inhabited by just 25 people, including officials of the ministry, members of the Japanese navy and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.