A huge underground shelter used by the defunct Imperial Japanese Navy's Grand Fleet Command has been shown to media nearly 70 years after the end of World War II. The command was headquartered at Keio University's campus in Hiyoshi, Yokohama City, from September 1944 until the war ended in August 1945.

[Via (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) The Associated Press | www.utsandiego.com]

Japan's secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II was a bunker located underneath of Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. With the aim of raising public awareness of the site and the tragic history it represents, was opened to the media for the first time, coinciding with the anniversary 70th of the end of World War II, Mary Yamaguchi, Associated Press journalist, says on different media.

It was a very important decision making center during the two last years of the World War II for Japan's navy leaders. Construction of the underground tunnels began in July 1944, mobilizing troops and Korean forced laborers. The plans about the Japanese operations of the Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa were made in this bunker. The referred article says "They knew when kamikaze pilots crashed to their deaths when signals from their planes stopped. They cried when they monitored cables from officers aboard the famed battleship Yamato as it came under heavy U.S. fire and sank off southern Japan."

[Via (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) The Associated Press | www.utsandiego.com]

This site was chosen because its proximity to Yokosuka naval base, command headquarters in Tokyo and because the hilltop campus also that was very suitable for an underground facility. The tunnels housing the command center and its facilities under the campus are 30 meters (100 feet) underground and stretch about 2.6 kilometers (1.6 miles) in length.

[Via (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) The Associated Press | www.utsandiego.com]

The barren and the inverted U-shaped tunnels sit underneath of Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on a hillside overlooking an athletic field where high school students do sport. This bunker has remained silent and untouched during 70 years. Until now unknown, only it was occasionally visited by guided tours for the students.

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www.startribune.com | (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) The Associated Press - www.utsandiego.com
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