World War II Mines Removed from US Base in Japan

Bombing Japan during WWII
Bombing Japan during WWII

Last year, a contractor doing repair work at a Sasebo Naval Base Ordnance area found a dozen mines from World War II. The mines contained traces of TNT but were determined to be stable enough for removal, according to James Johnson of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East.

The two-month process of removing the mines was completed last week.

The Navy Munitions Command, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 and the Japan Self-Defense Forces were all involved in the project to remove the devices.

Following their removal, the mines were turned over to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force for disposal.

Leftover ordnance from World War II is often found in Asia and the Pacific, especially in areas that saw fighting during the war and former ammunition storage facilities.

In May, construction workers discovered an unexploded 5-inch shell near Camp Kinser, Okinawa. Removing the explosive required the closing of a road and the evacuation of hundreds of residents and workers, Stars and Stripes reported.

Back in 2006, construction workers raising a gymnasium found a cache of unexploded weapons at Sasebo. 350 people were evacuated while that threat was removed.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE