KESENNUMA, Japan (AP) — A stranded fishing boat, which has become a symbol of the devastation of Japan’s March 2011 tsunami, is being torn down.

The city of Kesennuma had been divided on what to do with the Kyotokumaru. Some, including Mayor Shigeru Sugawara, wanted to keep it as a monument. But others wanted a painful reminder gone. The city took a vote. Last week, it announced the ship will be destroyed.

The Kyotokumaru sits in a destroyed residential neighborhood in Kesennuma, Japan in February of last year. Pic: AP.

Of the 14,083 responses, 68 percent voted to have the ship destroyed. Only 16 percent wanted to keep it.

The tsunami, which killed nearly 19,000 people, swept the tuna-fishing boat from a dock into a residential area. Visitors still come regularly to pray and leave flowers by the ship. Dismantling will likely start in the next few weeks.