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Sendai airport closed after WWII bomb found

23 Comments

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23 Comments
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I was there this morning and had to go back to Sendai to get the train instead. Once they said "please wait a while" I knew it was game over for the day. Now I'm enjoying six hours in Narita before the next flight out. I could be quite boozed up by then.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Interesting. The airport terminal has a mark about head level to indicate the height of the tsunami flood from last year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks U.S.A.

Every year in Japan the military disposes of more than 40 tonnes of unexploded bombs, left-overs from WWII.

The situation is worse in Okinawa, where it's estimated it could take maybe another hundred years to clear the island of unexploded bombs.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Yeah, they found a US shell north of Nago a couple of months ago and a Japanese one down near Itoman a month or so before that.

BertieWooster - where'd you get that 100 years from? People had said it could take a while but I'd never heard a timeline mentioned before. Cheers in advance :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here you go Soldave,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eWmp3RNufg

An Aussie news report on YouTube.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Bertie: Agreed it's a shame, but not much you can do about it save pray none go off before they can clean them up. Happens all over. There are still caches of chemical weapons found now and again in China, left by Imperial Japan, for example, and to Japan's credit they have in the past gone over and helped clean them up.

Anyway, Sendai's not having a huge run of good luck since opening, but here's hoping they can remove or safely explode the bomb and no one is hurt, with business resuming soon after.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smithinjapan-san,

You write:

There are still caches of chemical weapons found now and again in China, left by Imperial Japan, for example, and to Japan's credit they have in the past gone over and helped clean them up.

Yes.

One would have thought that the U.S.A. might show the same care.

I completely agree with what you say about Sendai. That area has not done well for luck in the last year or so. Let's hope it changes with the disposal of this bomb. And that we use this as a lesson and put an end to this kind of killing.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Is it just me or there just lot's of WW2 bombs being found around lately. Nice to be living in times of no war, well in Japan that is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The bomb was identified as American-made and is believed to be a dud from World War II.

According to FNN News tonight the bomb was made in England, not America. Hmm FNN screw up maybe?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah, they found a US shell north of Nago a couple of months ago and a Japanese one down near Itoman a month or so before that.

They have been finding them all over the place recently due to increased road construction in areas previously uninhabited. Shuri HS had a big one right under it's school grounds that was found while digging the foundations for it's new school buildings, the thing was sitting there all the while the kids were playing over it.

Every year in Japan the military disposes of more than 40 tonnes of unexploded bombs, left-overs from WWII.

Believe it or not Japan is quite lucky compared to places in France and Germany which still have unexploded ordnance from the Napoleonic wars.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think it is impossible to say whether these places will cleared in 10 years, a 100 years or whatever. No one is going out to find them, they are just found by some lucky workman (lucky in the sense he didn`t set the device off). Pure luck finding them.

In my hometown in Australia, which was used as a big firing range for a nearby US base during WW2 they still find a couple of shells each year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Believe it or not Japan is quite lucky compared to places in France and Germany which still have unexploded ordnance from the Napoleonic wars.

Trying to downplay it, Yubaru?

The Napoleonic wars were from 1799 to 1815. There can't be MUCH unexploded ordnance left from that time and if there is, I wouldn't have thought it was very dangerous.

What's your source?

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It's not impossible the dud could be British, the RN sent a task force to work under USN command so they could be in at the death, as the saying goes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Bertie Unexploded ordinance is found all over Europe and Asia on a fairly routine basis. When I was a soldier, construction workers at the US/German base in Grafenwoehr found an unexploded 500 lb bomb while digging the foundation for a Burger King. Dud is the wrong word by the way, as US ordinance experts were able to detonate it... even after all those years.... quite a spectacular explosion. How many undetonated Japanese bombs do you think there might be across the Asian Pacific? Or Aussie ones? French, Dutch, etc....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sorry meant to say ordnance

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Correct - there are a hundred or so names in the in the British section of the Okinawa Heiwakinen Peace Memorial. It's also not surprising that unexploded stuff was found in Shuri, which was the Japanese Army HQ and the epicenter of bombardment for several weeks. I live near Shuri and the previous owner of the house kept a shell proudly displayed in the garden until I called the disposal guys to take it away. The explosive had been removed but the fuze looked intact.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BertieWooster

An unexploded bomb that was dropped on a military airfield during a total war is found and you now blame the US for it. I suppose you don't feel that the Japanese had any responsibility in the reason the bomb got there in the first place?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Horrible to know that these stupid bombs are still all over the place, and this is here in Japan, a super rich country with high tech to find these bombs and detonate them etc..if we think of poor places like Cambodia, etc.which not only have bombs but also landmines etc..and you can locate them mark them and just wait for a heavy rain to wash them all over the place again and some poor unsuspecting child, farmer etc..KABOOM! Just horrible!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unexploded ordnance is a problem all over the world and not limited to Okinawa or Japan people continue to die from wars that occurred literally a hundred years ago because of these shells. It's a shame yes, but it will continue until better methods are found to dispose of them. Yet even that will not prevent casualties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Horrible to know that these stupid bombs are still all over the place, and this is here in Japan, a super rich country with high tech to find these bombs and detonate them etc.

Google it and you might be surprised, Japan doesn't even come close on the list of top countries with UO.

It doesnt lessen the problem however there is little that can be done pro-actively other than what they do now. There will always be small insecure people who live in the past and only look to place blame and not face reality.

Problem is that people have to follow the rules and not by pass them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bertie your words are funny, you seem to think that Japan's problems are anyone but Japan's fault. Also the US EOD teams do help clear out these bombs when found if they are asked. Try living in Cambodia or the former Yugoslavia, those place are totally littered with live mines and bombs that those who placed them never bothered to take out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Elbuda Mexicano-san,

It is horrible to know that such huge numbers of bombs are still lying, waiting to deliver death in many places on the planet, years after any war.

Which makes me wonder why we don't have a concerted planet wide effort to find and detonate them and an agreement to stop doing it now and in the future.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

BertieWooster

Could it be that the reason why there are concerted efforts and international programs to clear UXO in former war zones in SE Asia and Eastern Europe is because the risk is much much higher for unmarked/forgotten landmines and unexploded cluster bombs, which regularly kill and maim innocent people in places like Cambodia? When's the last time you heard of an unexploded bomb leftover from WWII going off in Japan and killing/hurting someone? Once found, an aerial bomb that was a dud will be treated with maximum caution, but the chances of it detonating after failing to do so despite a drop from high altitude and being buried under buildings, construction, traffic, etc. for 70+ years is a lot less than a landmine which hasn't malfunctioned/failed and is simply lying dormant for decades still capable of doing what it was designed to do. They're both certainly UXO but to treat them the same would be a waste of effort and limited resources.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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