Radio towers known as Hario Wireless Telegraph Station in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture are believed to have broadcasted the Niitakayama nobore 1208 (“Climb Mount Niitaka 1208”) code, launching the Pearl Harbor attack of World War II in 1941. One of its three towers, dubbed No. 3, was opened to the public last Sunday, however people are only allowed to observe its exteriors.
The Japanese government had named the Sasebo-based station an important cultural asset in March, which was sought for preservation back in 2011. The towers, all 136 metres tall, were part of the Imperial Japanese Navy communications network, the last one in the mainland to have relayed the signal for the Pearl Harbor attack. Although no solid documents could prove the claim, as they were all burned when Japan surrendered, Maritime Self-Defense Force Sasebo District Headquarters Chief Petty Officer Kazuhiko Tomonaga back in 2011 stated his firm belief that “the message was transmitted through Sasebo.” He added, “Hario station was built to send out signals to Asia and China so I think it’s possible that the transmission came through Hario.”
Although the Sasebo Municipal Government has imposed a limited view of tower No. 3, it hopes to also open the interiors as soon as possible. Back in 2011, Sasebo City Board of Education Hideaki Matsuo said, “Because the site in a way symbolizes the war, we use it as a place to teach the children about the war.” Matsuo, also a leader of the preservation efforts added, “We tell the children how the war began, what happened and how sad it was, and that’s why we need to treasure it.” A group of local citizens was formed for the preservation of the station and provide maintenance and guided tours in the Hario Wireless Telegraph Station.
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