Tokyo, Japan Residents of an Air Force base in northeastern Japan were asked to shelter in place after an airman reported finding what turned out to be a WWII Japanese grenade while snorkeling.
The base issued the following statement on its social media page, "Out of an abundance of caution the acting Misawa Air Base installation commander issued a shelter in place warning notification for north base housing after a community member discovered an unexploded ordnance 23 Sept."
The post also stated, "Misawa's Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel immediately responded to the scene and determined the object was not a threat."
Senior Airman Layne Ring found the suspect munition while he and his wife were snorkeling at Mutsu Bay, located 45 minutes north of the base. In a statement Ring said, "My wife and I love to look for sea glass, glass float, sea marbles. While we were there, I pulled out my snorkel gear and started snorkeling near the shore and found a ton of glass, and then I stumbled upon what I thought was a ceramic pot at first but to my knowledge assumed it was a ceramic fishing weight or something."
A few days later, while looking through the objects he collected, Ring noticed what appeared to be a fuse. "I realized I found a Japanese imperial navy Type 4 ceramic grenade ... created from 1944-1945 as a 'last ditch' effort to defend Japan's citizens from the Americans if they invaded," Ring said.