Report on large wartime underground shelter made public

A large underground bomb shelter on Miyako Island has remained largely unknown to the public although its existence was pointed out to officials in 2012.

Japanese troops stationed on the island during the war are believed to have constructed the cave system, and the Prefectural Archaelogical Office has now compiled a report on it that was made public Monday.

According to the report, the shelter is located at the foothills of the Saratake area in Gusukube-nagama, Miyakojima City. The total length of the caves is 224 meters, and three of its four entrances have currently been identified.   There are 18 ten-square-meter rooms on both sides of a narrow main pathway in the shelter.  Currently, water is covering the floor of the shelter ankle-deep, however, otherwise the caves remain in good condition with hardly any crumbling.

During the wartime, Independent Mixed 60thBrigade formed in 1944 in former Manchuria was deployed to Miyako Island where it was called ‘Komabutai’.  The brigade is thought to have constructed the shelter.  The existence of the shelter has been known to a few local people for a long time.

05:39 28 Oct , 2016