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Japanese commander’s residence believed to be found by Russian expedition on Matua island

July 27, 8:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Matua is an uninhabited volcanic island, and during World War II it hosted one of Japan’s largest bases

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Matua island

Matua island

© wikimedia.org/NASA

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Members of the second expedition to the Kurile island of Matua have discovered ruins of the residence of a Japanese commander and an object resembling a submarine, the Russian Eastern Military District’s press service said.

"Members of the expedition have found some artefacts. For example, they discovered ruins of the residence of a Japanese garrison commander with pillboxes, weapon ports and underground tunnels," the statement says. "Along with this, near the Yurlov Cape, an object in the form of a cigar, resembling a submarine has been found at a depth of 110 meters."

Members of the expedition center of the Russian Defense Ministry, Geographical Society, naval personnel of the Pacific Fleet and Eastern Military District keep studying the island’s infrastructure battered by time.

Hydrogeologists, volcanologists, hydrobiologists, terrain and soil scientists, divers, explorers and archaeologists from Vladivostok, Moscow, Kamchatka and Sakhalin are carrying out their research on Matua. The studies aim to collect information about maritime species off the coast of Matua and neighboring islands, which will be enough for an atlas.

The expedition is expected to do the research until September 2017. The results are needed for further development of the island. The researchers will charter the maps of dangerous natural phenomena, will look into alternative energy sources, chemical composition of natural waters, potential soil fertility and other aspects.

Russia’s Defense Ministry and Geographical Society sent the first joint expedition to Matua in 2016.

Matua is an uninhabited volcanic island, eleven kilometers long and 6.4 kilometers wide. It is located in the center of the Kuril Islands.

During World War II, it hosted one of Japan’s largest bases. In 1945, the island was handed over to the Soviet Union and the Japanese fortress became Soviet. The island has numerous fortifications, bunkers, sea caves and two airstrips, which are heated by thermal waters and so can be used all year round.

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