Via / AYAKO NAKADA/ Staff Writer
Twenty-four sunken submarines that probably belonged to the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II have been found on the seabed near the Goto island chain in Nagasaki Prefecture.
The submarines are believed to have been dumped there by U.S. forces after the Allied victory, the Japan Coast Guard said Aug. 7, citing reference books.
The outlines of the 24 submarines were first spotted in July by coast guard researchers during a geographical study off the island chain by the Kaiyo underwater research vessel.
They were all sat about 200 meters down on the seabed and located 35 kilometers east-southeast of Fukuejima island, which is situated at the south end of the chain.
A device that surveys the sea bottom using sound waves confirmed the outlines of the submarines in an area stretching four kilometers by two kilometers, the coast guard said.
The biggest was approximately 120 meters long, 15 meters wide and 10 meters high. Based on information from books, this particular sub is probably I-402, which was built in July 1945 to attack the U.S. mainland. Equipped with three attack floatplanes, the submarine I-402 was the largest submarine at the time.