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Chapter 95
Mr. Tomohiro Okamoto, of the Maritime Department inthe Japanese Ministry of Transport, now retired, told methat he and his junior colleague at the time, Mr. AtsuroChiba, were in Long Beach, California – the Americanwestern seaboard's main container port, near L.A. – onunrelated business when they were advised that a lonesurvivor of the Japanese ship Tsimtsum, which had vanishedwithout a trace in Pacific international waters severalmonths before, was reported to have landed near the smalltown of Tomatlán, on the coast of Mexico. They wereinstructed by their department to go down to contact thesurvivor and see if any light could be shed on the fate ofthe ship. They bought a map of Mexico and looked to seewhere Tomatlán was. Unfortunately for them, a fold of themap crossed Baja California over a small coastal townnamed Tomatlán, printed in small letters. Mr. Okamoto wasconvinced he read Tomaflan. Since it was less thanhalfway down Baja California, he decided the fastest way toget there would be to drive.
They set off in their rented car. When they got toTomatlán, eight hundred kilometres south of Long Beach,and saw that it was not Tomatlán, Mr. Okamoto decidedthat they would continue to Santa Rosalia, two hundredkilometres further south, and catch the ferry across the G............
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