Tokyo, Nov. 11 (Jiji Press)–The Maritime Self-Defense Force icebreaker Shirase left Tokyo’s Harumi pier for Showa Station, Japan’s Antarctic research facility, on Friday morning.
Some 80 crew members, including wintering party members of the 58th Antarctic research expedition team, will board the 12,650-ton ship in Australia on Nov. 28. Among them will be 10 female SDF officers.
The Shirase is aiming to reach waters near Antarctica in late December, according to the defense and science ministries.
The wintering party members will carry out research on global warming and climate change by using data from the Pansy large atmosphere radar installed at the station and observing surrounding waters.
A total of about 80 members of the wintering party of the 57th Antarctic expedition team and the summer party of the 58th expedition team are scheduled to return to Japan in March. The Shirase will be back in April.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]