Cemetery targeted by vandals

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The grave of Erica Ann Matsumoto's husband was among those vandalised on Wednesday morning.
Camera IconThe grave of Erica Ann Matsumoto's husband was among those vandalised on Wednesday morning. Credit: Jakeb Waddell

Family members were left heartbroken on Wednesday morning as Broome’s Japanese Cemetery became the target of vandals.

Vases were smashed, statues were pushed over and items placed by relatives at headstones had been thrown around as the vandals ravaged the area.

Erica Ann Matsumoto, whose husband’s grave was among those defaced, said it felt disgusting to be put through such grief.

“Basically, anything that could have been smashed was smashed,” the 68-year-old said.

“The people whose graves were vandalised did nothing wrong to anybody and I can’t put into words how horrible it feels to have to go through something like this.”

Tomoko Irlean Matsumoto, 79, said the wreckage bought back memories of a similar act of destruction in 2009, after a row over the Taiji dolphin slaughter.

“Both my parents and my youngest and oldest brothers have graves here,” she said.

“They were all vandalised again and it reminds me of the awful time years ago when all the headstones were kicked over.

“It is terrible to see things like this happen but unfortunately there are people around the place that clearly have nothing better to do.

“I believe the security here needs to be increased to prevent anything like this happening again.”

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