YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Restored buildings from a fortress in Tokyo Bay that was destroyed and submerged by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake will be opened to the public in late January in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Fort No. 3, built on a man-made island by the Imperial Japanese Army to protect the capital, was completed in 1921 after around 30 years of construction, but the quake toppled the fortress only two years later and left a third of it underwater.
Three recovered buildings — a searchlight building, an artillery storage depot and an observatory, will be opened for public viewing at a park in Yokosuka where they have been relocated.
The thick concrete buildings were designed to endure shelling and each weighs around 500 to 900 tons.
“These are precious assets that demonstrate Japanese civil engineering technology, which was the most advanced in the world at the time,” said former Kanto Gakuin University professor Sumie Shoji, head of local nonprofit group Action Oppama that is organizing the event.
The submerged fort was long-viewed as a hazard in the Uraga Channel off Yokosuka and occasionally caused accidents.
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