Sunken Japanese Battleship Hiei Found in South Pacific

Society Culture

Los Angeles, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--Researchers have found the wreckage of the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Hiei, which sank in the South Pacific during World War II.

The discovery on Thursday by a team funded by Microsoft Corp.'s late cofounder Paul Allen is expected to help identify why the battleship sank, experts said.

The 150-meter rear part of the Hiei was found upside down at a depth of 985 meters, at a point northwest of Savo Island in the Solomon Islands chain. The ship's bow section, some 70 meters long, remains missing.

Video footage recorded by the team shows the battleship's propellers, high-angle guns and a crate of shells.

"It is highly likely that an ammunition room on the battleship's bow side exploded for some reason," Kazushige Todaka, director of the Kure Maritime Museum in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, said after viewing the footage.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press