What Are Some Facts About the Naval Station in Yokosuka, Japan?


Quick Answer

The Yokosuka naval station, referred to as the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, occupies about 560 acres of a peninsula on Tokyo Bay in the Kanto Plain region of Japan. It houses the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet and about 25,000 active duty members and their family members, as well as military retirees and civilian employees.

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Full Answer

In the late 19th century, the U.S. naval base originated as a shipyard called the Yokosuka Iron Works, eventually renamed the Yokosuka Navy Yard in 1871, with the purpose of promoting Japan as a world trading power. During World War II, the shipyard became a center for Japanese military activities, including gun manufacturing, fuel storage and ship maintenance. By 1944, the base had more than 40,000 workers and occupied 280 acres.

In 1945, Vice Admiral Totsuka, Commander of the Yokosuka Naval Base, surrendered the base to the Allies, leaving U.S. and British Marines and U.S. naval personnel in control. War equipment was disposed of and buildings were repurposed as schools, churches and hospitals for Japanese civilians, while the shipyards were deactivated. Soon after the 1945 occupation, the base became known as the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka.

In 1947, the Ship Repair Department was organized, and the shipyard was reactivated to maintain U.S. Fleets in the Pacific. During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka assumed a strategic role as a major naval base in the Far East, providing medical care and ship maintenance and repair of the US Seventh Fleet. It continues to be the most important U.S. naval base in the Western Pacific.

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