Japan Warship Captain Was Concerned over "Power Gap" with U.S.


Uji, Kyoto Pref., Nov. 23 (Jiji Press)--The surviving family of Bunji Asakura (1894-1966), who was the third captain of the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Musashi, has revealed that he voiced concern over the difference in national power between Japan and the United States during World War II.

Speaking in an interview ahead of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of war between Japan and the United States on Dec. 8, 1941, Japan time, Michi Ogihara, Asakura's 85-year-old daughter, said that he had let slip to his wife his concern over the recklessness of the war with the United States between around 1942 and the spring of 1943, when dark clouds started to hang over the war situation after the Japanese side shifted to a defensive strategy.

A native of Kurobe, Toyama Prefecture, central Japan, Asakura commanded the Musashi from December 1943 to August 1944.

Despite its reputation as one of the world's most powerful battleship, together with the iconic Japanese battleship Yamato, the Musashi sank on Oct. 24, 1944, following attacks by the United States on the Sibuyan Sea in the Philippines. This was just two months after Asakura passed the command baton over to the fourth captain.

Ogihara lived in Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, between the ages of 3 to 5, and then lived in Tokyo until she was forced to evacuate when she was in her second year of elementary school.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press