US WWII Munitions Detonated Underwater Off Okinawa

Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has begun operations to dispose of more than 600 UXO uncovered on Okinawa this year. Approximately 319 items were safely detonated a half-mile offshore from Naha Port's Shinko Wharf, according to a Naha city spokesperson.

The ordnance was uncovered during dredging operations off Naha Port between March and November. The UXO are believed to be American-made and were likely dropped during the pivotal Battle of Okinawa that lasted from April 1 to June 22, 1945. The city spokesman said, "The disposal was conducted as planned and without any trouble."

The find was the largest amount of recovered munitions detonated at one time since 1995. The remaining 315 items are scheduled to be disposed of on January 26.

A spokesperson from the Disaster Prevention and Crisis Management Division reported 2,094 tons of UXO have been found and detonated in Okinawa since 1972, when Okinawa was returned to Japanese control. "The number of unexploded ordnance found in Okinawa is decreasing," he said. Last year, only 14.5 tons were uncovered and safely disposed.

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