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Former Japanese Naval Underground Headquarters

Former Japanese Naval Underground Headquarters Former Japanese Naval Underground Headquarters is the air-raid shelter used as the headquarter of Japanese Navel during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
It is on a hill located about 4 km south of central Naha city.

Map of Naha city In 1944, Japan was going to lose the Pacific War (World War II).
U.S. forces had come to the south of Okinawa, so Okinawa Island became the frontline of Japan.

Japanese army constructed this underground headquarters to guard the important airport which is the current Naha Airport. The soldiers could overlook the airport on this hill.

The underground headquarters were completed in December, 1944.
The total length of the tunnel was about 450 meters. And planning room, staff room, soldier rooms and so on were set up.

This headquarters were used from January, 1945.
U.S. forces started to stage a fierce attack from late March. And they made a landing on Okinawa Island on the last day in March.
And the grueling ground battles were waged for two months in the south part of Okinawa Island.

In the confusion, the underground headquarters were isolated, and the area around here had been surrounded by U.S. forces, on June 4th.
And on June 11th, concentrated attacks were made on the headquarters, but the soldiers in the headquartes held out to the end.

At last, on the 13th, the commander Minoru Oota decided.
He sent a telegram to his boss.
Commonly, Japanese military hoped that Japan would win rather than people's happiness.
But he reported that Okinawa residents had been under the tragic battle but fought bravely.
And, at the tail of the telegram, he hoped to make special consideration to Okinawa residents in the future.
After that, he killed himself in the headquarters.
Then the battle finished.
It is said that over 4,000 soldiers died here.

After the war, the war suvivors visited here and gathered the soldiers' bones in 1953 and 1958.
And a cenotaph was built.
In 1970, the headquarters were restored and was opened to the public.
Since 1972, the site around the headquarters has been the park.

How to get to here

By route bus

By route bus with route No.33 or 46, get off at Tomigusuku-koen stop.

Visitor center on the tunnels Museum
Stairway to headquarters Underground passage
Commander Oota's room Narrow soldiers' room

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