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Undetonated one-ton U.S. bomb found near downtown Osaka

42 Comments
By RocketNews24

Workers at a the construction site for a new condo complex in Osaka were surprised when they hit something hard after excavating about two meters deep on Monday morning. They were even more surprised to find that what they found was an unexploded piece of ordnance left over from World War II.

The bomb was found very close to one of Osaka’s more densely populated areas and could cause major disruptions in the city as the Self Defense Force (SDF) considers declaring an evacuation zone during the removal operation.

After finding the explosive device measuring 180 centimeters in length and 60 centimeters in diameter, the construction workers notified the Osaka Prefectural Police who in turn called in the ground division of the SDF.

The SDF confirmed it was an American-made bomb with the explosive power of a ton of TNT. During World War II, 843 of these bombs were dropped onto Osaka, the last of which fell a day before the end of the war on August 14, 1945. Osaka was considered a high-priority target due to its contribution to arms manufacturing at the time.

In 2013, a similar bomb was found in Osaka in the less densely populated area of Nagarahigashi in Kita Ward. At that time the SDF established a 300-meter perimeter into which no one could enter while they defused and disposed of the bomb. As a result, about 290 people were evacuated to shelters provided by the municipal government.

If the same 300-meter perimeter is set up around this bomb it would include part of the area around Namba Station, which is only 280 meters away and holds numerous offices, retail businesses, and eateries. The SDF are currently considering how to proceed in this case.

There is concern that this bomb could interfere with the upcoming Nipponbashi Street Festa 2015 on March 21. This is a yearly festival celebrating Nipponbashi’s Denden Town district’s distinct businesses such as computer part stores, maid cafes, and anime figurine retailers. The festival is also well-known for its cosplayers.

If a 300-meter perimeter is set up, it would close off all of Denden Town to the public. There has been no word yet as to when and how the SDF will proceed to deal with this bomb. It would seem logical that they would act sooner than March 21, but they may want to wait until the weekend to minimize the effect on regular business in the area as well.

Source: Sankei West

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 5 places in Japan to visit in 2015 -- Sapporo police speechless after discovering one man’s creative use for a bomb: a door stopper -- Osaka shop owner in trouble for advertising “100-yen Molotov cocktails”

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42 Comments
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Fortunate that it did not go off when it was hit, unlike one down here in Okinawa a few years back when a got lost an eye while digging with a power shovel at a construction site.

It should be mandatory for all areas that were bombed during WWII to undergo testing for unexploded ordnance prior to any construction. It took roughly 10 years to clear out the Shintoshin area after it was handed back to Japan, but better safe than sorry.

I wouldn't complain too loudly either if I were living in the area, better to be safe than dead.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Yeah, that's a big bomb. It would have wrecked everybody's day.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They found a bomb here a couple of years ago, too. Nothing ever really ends, does it? You can't just sweep the past away and pretend it never happened or doesn't matter. It's right there, underneath everything, just waiting for a shovel.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, well at least the USA is not denying its involvement in the war. Japan could learn a thing or two...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The bomb they found in 2013 was in the next lot from my condo. We had to evacuate, so it was a good time to visit the in-laws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A one ton bomb is a one ton bomb. One does not play games around that thing... It would have broken all the windows on a 200 meter radius for sure (nevermind demolishing an entire street block in the process).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sjeesh imagine if this baby would blow up accidentally. Lets hope they can remove and detonate it somewhere safely.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

God. The Americans dropped bombs everywhere

-11 ( +11 / -21 )

Damm right we did son!

-4 ( +17 / -22 )

They found a bomb here a couple of years ago, too. Nothing ever really ends, does it? You can't just sweep the past away and pretend it never happened or doesn't matter. It's right there, underneath everything, just waiting for a shovel.

There are places in Europe that still have unexploded ordnance from the Napoleonic wars, so in a manner of speaking Japan is rather fortunate to not have more.

Safety should be paramount and any place that was bombed during WII should have laws mandating detection word be done prior to construction.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Damm right we did son!

Might want to change "did" to present tense.

1 ( +17 / -15 )

These things comes out once every year at average. JGSDF explosive technicians comes to the scene removes the fuse and takes it away so they can dispose the bomb in a remote location for it to be safely detonated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strange question but if a bomb like this were to go off, who is held responsible? The Japanese government for failing to clear it? the people who bought the land with the bomb under the soil? Act of god? ... Who actually owns the bomb? I wonder.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More one ton bombs seem to be still everywhere. They historically dropped millions of them all over Japan. We just don't know where they are exactly! Hope not sitting on it now.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I think they meant Namba Nankai Station which is the closest to Den Den Town which is just east of the Nankai station. The Namba Osaka subway has three lines that go through the area just west and north of the Namba Nankai station plus one that goes directly under the main road of Den Den Town (Sakai-suji) and if they close off the 300m area as planned, that will cause some serious problems. Hopefully they can get that nasty bit of business done safely and quickly.

FYI, it's so sad to see how Den Den Town has gone downhill over the last 20 years. Every few months you see another store closing and then new condo high rise building going up right on the main street of Sakai-suji in Den Den Town.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An "American" Bomb. Let the American bomb disposal Unit deal with it, why put Japanese SDF at risk.

-17 ( +5 / -21 )

"There is concern that this bomb could interfere with the upcoming Nipponbashi Street Festa 2015 on March 21."

It would be a shame if such a thing interferes with an event meant for fun and enjoyment, but I'd much rather than that such a massive bomb go off and cause untold damage. They are lucky it didn't go off when digging.

Jeremy Wood: "An "American" Bomb. Let the American bomb disposal Unit deal with it, why put Japanese SDF at risk."

Don't be childish. An American bomb disposal team coming into an unfamiliar area would be just as much a risk to the public, if not more, than the SDF group dispatched to do such things and which knows the area well. There are too many lives at stake to play some immature, "You dropped it, you deal with it!" game.

8 ( +9 / -2 )

How about both?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

God. The Americans dropped bombs everywhere

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Darwin

You were saying? I will again reiterate, Japan was not a victim of WW2

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Great link Glen. Yup, in 1930's Japanese planes were the first to drop bombs and wreak havoc on their neighbors not the Americans.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I know many Japanese un-armed civilians killed by U.S. blind bombing.. Sad,Scary..genocide.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Karma.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I know many Japanese un-armed civilians killed by U.S. blind bombing.. Sad,Scary..genocide

I know many millions killed by Japanese war. Sad, Scary...genocide

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I wonder if it might have been a "pumpkin bomb," an extra-large size that emulated the "Fat Man" bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Those bombs were dropped by the 509th squadron in Tinian to practice using the plutonium bombs that were being made ready, although (fortunately) only that one was used.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

God. The Americans dropped bombs everywhere

Which just goes to show how much you don't know about Japanese history. The US "could" have bombed everywhere and "could" have turned Japan into one huge pile of rubble, but guess what it didn't.

Many places were spared bombing by the US to preserve much the cultural and historical areas of Japan.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Galapagos, nope, the elite teams training with atomic bomb mockups could place it in a 2 meter circle from a height of 10.000 meters. They would NEVER risk losing such an elite crew ... besides, such skill were basically unnecessary in carpet Tokyo bombing.

Also, from the geometry and size of the bomb is already clear what they're dealing with...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Guys, again, enough with the 'who dropped bombs first' stuff. It's a matter of practicality more than anything. If it were just a matter of morals or ethics you could equally argue that the US should be disarming and disposing of ordinance if they dropped it, or Japan should do it because it 'deserved' it -- the point is that this is for the sake of safety, and Japan is in the best position to do it. In the case of chemical weapons caches left in China by the IJA, for example, Japan is often called on to dispose of the weapons, and despite some hesitancy and denial in the past, they have been doing so. But that is not the same as live munitions (or that COULD be live) in the middle of a populated city that could do severe damage if not removed very carefully by professionals who know the bombs and the area. In the case of said chemical weapons responsibility trumps practicality, but not vice-versa with unexploded ordinance in city centers.

Let's just hope they disarm it safely and dispose of it. Obviously they're going to have a very tough time if their only option is to explode the thing and it could create a lot of chaos during the Cosplay event, but again I'd rather everyone be safe than safety take a back seat to convenience.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

But is there any real evidence that America dropped this bomb or if this bomb was coerced into dropping or dropped of its own free will? The Japanese rightists have given me a whole new way of thinking.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

the best thing would be to fill the hole with teliban supporters and IS supporters and get then to defuse it, if it goes off, well nothing lost!§

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Christopher Glen: I will again reiterate, Japan was not a victim of WW2

The government and the military officers who were responsible for the suffering caused by the Japanese military overseas were not. BUT the civilians (babies, children, women and even men) who never took part in any military operations and yet were killed in the millions were victims. I do understand that the Americans have been raised (educated) to believe that the bombings of Japanese cities were justified etc. but there is no justification for killing innocent civilians. So please spare us your righteous opinions on who was and wasn’t victim when it comes to indiscriminate killing of innocent people.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Strange question but if a bomb like this were to go off, who is held responsible? The Japanese government for failing to clear it? the people who bought the land with the bomb under the soil? Act of god? ... Who actually owns the bomb? I wonder.

Depends... was it a gift from America to Japan? Personally I think the US military should be tasked with removing it - they left it there!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

the United States has never had to answer for war crimes such as intentionally targeting civilians when the war was virtually over. they knew it was won and still fire bombed the civilians of metropolitan areas in Japan.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

the United States has never had to answer for war crimes such as intentionally targeting civilians when the war was virtually over. they knew it was won and still fire bombed the civilians of metropolitan areas in Japan.

First off learn some history. Second off, the so-called war crimes you talk about did not even become war crimes until 1949. So third off, learn some more history.

Ever hear of "total war"? That is what WWII was, whether it was the beginning or end either side did what it felt it needed to win, and do a little more studying and find out WHY the US bombed, fire-bombed Tokyo. It was a psychological attack as well as physical and that is a part of war too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@KM: God. The Americans dropped bombs everywhere. @Wc626: Damn right we did son.

Oh, the arrogance.

@yubaru So it is justified then, right? The fire bombing of civilian targets, mass killing of innocents. If you justify this, you are no better than the very politicians you so vehemently criticize every time here for failing to recognize parts of the Japanese history. How do you call this? Pot. Kettle. Black.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yubaru... When the RAF blasted the hell out of Dresden people were taken aback in the UK. Some politicians even distanced themselves from it. Germany were the bad guys yes, but tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children were killed, just like in London and Coventry. To some it as revenge for the Blitz, to others an attack on an industrial city... but however you look at it, it was horrific. It still causes people to think.

Churchill said:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land… The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. I am of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in our own interests than that of the enemy. The Foreign Secretary has spoken to me on this subject, and I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive

Was there remorse in America about the fire bombing/other bombing of Japanese civilian targets at the time? Any pause for thought?

Compare Churchill's concern about 'terror bombing' with that of the US officer in charge of the firebombing:

The fire raids were ordered by General Curtis LeMay, who some see as the ‘Bomber Harris’ of the Pacific War, in response to the difficulty B-29 crews had in completing pinpoint strategic bombing over Japanese cities. LeMay, therefore, decided that blanket bombing raids on cities to undermine the morale of civilians were an appropriate response. After the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 (referred to as “unprovoked and dastardly” by President Roosevelt), no-one was willing to speak out on behalf of the Japanese citizens.

I feel that this is not off topic as it progresses the discussion above...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

God. The Americans dropped bombs everywhere

Pretty much everywhere there were cities but Kyoto. That's what happens in war.

An "American" Bomb. Let the American bomb disposal Unit deal with it, why put Japanese SDF at risk.

Considering how often the SDF has to deal with unexploded WWII ordinance, they have much more expertise in their disarmament and disposal than the U.S. EOD teams (which train mostly on modern ordinance) do.

the United States has never had to answer for war crimes such as intentionally targeting civilians when the war was virtually over. they knew it was won and still fire bombed the civilians of metropolitan areas in Japan.

Like Yubaru said, it wasn't a war crime until four years after WWII. Look-up the "Fourth Geneva Convention".

Compare Churchill's concern about 'terror bombing' with that of the US officer in charge of the firebombing:

Yes, Churchill initially wrote that, but the pushback on his choice of the phrase "acts of terror and wanton destruction" was such that he was later forced to water the passage down. Roosevelt was also an initial opponent of bombing civilians. His comments when news of the German V1 "Buzz bombs" attacking England broke were absolutely against targeting civilians and yet, before his death he had turned 180 degrees around on the subject.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US should apologize once for every 14 times Japan does, because that is how many times more civilians Japan killed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Total_deaths

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@scipantheist

Or you stop demanding Japan apologize.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@tinawatanabe Only if certain commenters stop whining about one stupid bomb.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyway, I am glad they found this bomb in time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So please spare us your righteous opinions on who was and wasn’t victim when it comes to indiscriminate killing of innocent people.

@Jane.M: I will agree with you on this, to a point. What happened with the firebombing of Tokyo, and the atom bombs - was horrifying. I've actually been to both atom bomb museums. However, the Japanese people are taught that they were a "victim" of world war 2. They don't know what their military did to other nations. That is the whole point I've been trying to get across, and which you so obviously misinterpreted. Back on topic, I hope the bomb gets disposed of safely

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Finding unexploded ordnance many yrs after a war is not uncommon. With is common is some of the idiotic remarks by some of you. War is horrible, there are no real winners, we all lost something. All sides were brutal, both the Americans and the Japanese. Can't we just be thankful that we will probably never engage in Total War again? Be thankful that the ordnance didn't detonate and kill anyone. BTW, one found in London a few days ago as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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