Japan MSDF Icebreaker Returns from Antarctic Mission (News)

Science Technology

Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)—The Maritime Self-Defense Force's icebreaker Shirase returned to Tokyo's Harumi Pier Monday, completing its mission to support Japan's Antarctic research expedition team.

After leaving Japan on November 11 last year, the 12,650-ton ship picked up some 80 people, chiefly members of the fifty-eighth expedition team, in Australia and arrived at fast ice some 560 meters off the coast of Japan's Shōwa Station on December 28, according to the MSDF.

During its mission, the Shirase delivered more than 1,000 tons of supplies including food and fuel to the Antarctic research base.

"As the ice was thin, the Shirase berthed smoothly," said MSDF Petty Officer Second Class Matsumoto Yuka, who joined the mission as a galley crew member.

"I'm relieved that I've fulfilled my duties," Matsumoto said, adding that she made cakes for expedition team members on Valentine's Day.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Antarctica