At just over 25 meters from stem to stern, and 140 tons, the wooden long-line tuna-fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru (No. 5 Lucky Dragon) is hardly imposing.
Yet despite its diminutive size for an ocean-going vessel, in March 1954 the Lucky Dragon’s encounter with radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen-bomb test spurred shock and indignation of titanic proportions, straining Japan’s cozy diplomatic and commercial ties with the United States.
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