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The discovery of the sunken battleship Musashi — the Imperial Japanese Navy’s biggest warship — by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen last week should serve as an opportunity for the Japanese or any people, for that matter, to contemplate the real face of war — its absurdity and cruelty. People should try to understand the lessons of the silent wreckage, which has been lying one km below the surface of the Philippines’ Sibuyan Sea for the past 71 years.

The Musashi embodied the best shipbuilding and weapons technologies that wartime Japan had. The second of the Yamato-class battleships, and the last battleship to be constructed by the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Musashi had a standard displacement of 65,000 tons, much heavier than the Iowa-class battleships, the U.S. Navy’s latest and largest battleships, whose standard displacement was 45,000 tons.

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