VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) -- The Virginia Beach relief group Operation Blessing International is teaming up with a software application company to present fishing boats to Japanese fishermen whose livelihoods were dashed by that country's 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Six custom-made boats were commissioned by Operation Blessing as part of its efforts to assist Japanese fishing communities devastated by the disaster. SAP AG donated funds for the construction of the 23-foot vessels. Four used fishing boats will also be delivered to the fishermen in Japan on March 10.

Operation Blessing says thousands of boats were lost in the tsunami. The relief group says it has purchased and provided 20 new boats made in the U.S., 10 made in China and 61 used boats to fishermen since the disaster.

AP-WF-03-07-13 0804GMT

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