Showa Station, Antarctica, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese icebreaker Shirase has reached Showa Station, Japan’s Antarctic research facility.
Around 2:50 p.m. local time (11:50 a.m. GMT) on Sunday, the ship carrying members of Japan’s 61st research expedition team and goods to be used in their activities arrived at a point where the team can pipe fuel from the ship to the station.
On Dec. 29 last year, the Shirase reached the Antarctic fast-ice area that lies between the coast and the sea ice. The ship then rammed through the ice to berth at the current point.
Work to transport fuel, foods and other items from the ship to the station will fully start shortly.
Most of the expedition team have already arrived at the base by helicopter.
Takara Teramura, a 42-year-old member of the team in charge of transmitting information, took pictures of the Shirase from the coast near Showa Station and said, “I never thought the ship could come this close.”
The 61st team will stay at the station for a shorter period of time than the prior teams as it is on a mission to observe the Totten Glacier in East Antarctica. The glacier is feared to be melting due to climate change.
After about a month of activities at Showa Station, the Shirase will leave for Japan in early February. The ship is scheduled to arrive back home in late March.