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Citizens’ group photographs unloading of Tomahawk missile canisters

  • July 21, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 26
  • JMH Translation

Wataro Rai, 68, chief editor at citizens’ group Rimpeace, took photos of canisters believed to contain Tomahawk cruise missiles being unloaded at the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka (in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture). The citizens’ group has been monitoring U.S. bases for nearly 20 years, but it says that this was the first time that the unloading of Tomahawk missiles has been observed.


It is highly possible that the missiles were on the Aegis ship USS Fitzgerald based in Yokosuka, which returned to port after a collision accident with a container ship in waters off Izu Peninsula in June. Rai took photos of the unloading of the cargo onto a pier near the Urago Ammunition Depot on June 25.


The canisters are long white boxes, each containing one missile. They are about 60 centimeters wide and 7 meters long. Rai said he determined the canisters contained Tomahawk missiles from the markings on them, such as “rocket,” “liquid fuel,” and “UN0397.”


Responding to queries on the loading and unloading of Tomahawk missiles and the Fitzgerald’s mission, U.S. Navy Japan headquarters stated: “We are not able to comment on operations and tactical matters.” (Abridged)

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