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July 18, 2012

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Japanese can't get burial at sea

LOCAL cemetery management officials rejected a Japanese man's request to cast his deceased father's ashes in Shanghai waters yesterday.

The man called Shanghai's service hotline 962288 yesterday to ask for a sea burial for his father, who worked in Shanghai decades ago and developed a deep affection toward the city.

"It is the first time that we heard a request from a foreigner, but unfortunately, we don't provide such service at the current stage," said Zhang Minghua, an official with the Shanghai Funeral and Interment Association, who is in charges of the sea burial section.

But overseas Chinese of foreign nationality can apply for the service, and foreigners can have their bodies transported to their birth places, he said.

Demand for sea burial is outpacing the capacity of available ships in the city. Officials said many families applying for sea burial this year have to wait until next year. The number of Shanghai families applying for sea burial is growing by 8 percent a year.


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