Unexploded ordnance and human bones found at Kuniyoshi Ward in Itoman City

October 25, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

By October 24, a worker carrying out a magnetic survey in farmland in Kuniyoshi Ward in Itoman City as part of the nation’s broad-scale excavation project had found approximately 100 items of unexploded ordnance thought to be from the former Imperial Japanese Army in the Battle of Okinawa. There were also three human bones found near the farmland. The ordnance has been stored at the scene because it is in an advanced stage of rusting away and therefore it is thought it pose a low-risk of explosion.

The worker found 12 hand grenades, 94 bullets, three human bones, and what is thought to be a Japanese soldier’s helmet, canteen and seal. It is not known if fuses are in the grenades, which together with the ammunition will be disposed of in the days ahead.
According to people involved, the items were found within an area five meters square. They found the human bones at a depth of about two meters on October 23, and when they continued digging, by October 24, they had found the unexploded grenades and bullets at a depth of about three meters. It is reported that most of the personal effects discovered have been badly damaged by rust.

A large of number of unexploded shells have been found in Maezato Ward of Itoman City, including 902 shells in July 2010 and another 2113 two months later in September.

(English Translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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