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Copy of the Aide Memoire Given to the U.S. Ambassador Allison by the
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Okumura
March 27, 1954
The following data has been obtained as a result of investigations conducted by
the Japanese Government with regard to the Fukuryu Maru No. 5.
The course of the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, its movement and circumstances of the
accident as described hereunder are conclusions drawn from (1) statements made
by the vessel's skipper, fishing master and other members of the crew; (2)
entries in the ship's log-book and fishing records and (3) meteorological
conditions at the time of the accident as revealed from the investigation by
the Central Meteorological Observatory. All dates and hours given here are
Japan Standard Time.
I. Stricken Vessel:-
|Name:|| Fukuryu Maru, No. 5|
|Type:|| Fishing boat, 99.9 tons|
|Registration No.:|| SO 2-893|
|Owner's name and address:|| Kakuichi Nishikawa
13-724, Yaizu, Yaizu-shi
|Skipper's name and address:|| Hisakichi Tsutsui
50, Ryoyashiki, Sakushima-Mura|
|Number of crew: || 23 persons|
|Content and kind of cargo: || Tuna and other fish
Total 2,299.3 kan|
II. Course and Movement of the Fukuryu Maru No. 5:-
1. The Fukuryu Maru No. 5 left the port of Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, at 1130
hours on January 22 and headed south-eastward. On or about January 27, and
from a position in the neighborhood of Lat. 27deg. 36'N. and Long. 148 37-E.
it shifted its course eastward. It started fishing on February 3, at Lat. 26
17 1/2'N. and Long. 171 30'E. Fishing operation was made several times until
February 12. Later, in order to fish in the neighborhood of the Marshall
Islands, the vessel changed its course and, while fishing on the way, it
reached on February 23, a position in the proximity of Lat. 11 11.3'N. and
Long. 173 33'E.
2. After February 23, the vessel directed its course toward the west and
engaged in fishing operations. On March 1, at approximately 0115 hours it
arrived at the position of Lat. 12 03 1/2'N. and Long. 166 56 1/2'E. and
started to set lines. It completed setting lines at 0342 hours at Lat. 11 52
1/2'N. and Long. 166 35'E. Afterward it cruised for ten (10) minutes toward
the north-east (estimated cruising distance: 1 1/4 nautical miles), and drifted
with its engine stopped. About 0412 hours, after it had drifted about twenty
(20) minutes (estimated westward tideway, about one half (1/2) nautical mile),
a streak of light which seemed to have resulted from an atomic bomb explosion
was seen. The vessel's position at that time was approximately Lat. 11
53-1/4'N. and Long. 166 35-1/4'E.
3. About seven or eight minutes after the light had been seen, a detonation
apparently resulting from an atomic bomb explosion was heard and the vessel
immediately started hauling in its lines. This operation ended at 1030 hours
and the vessel headed toward the north to get out of the area.
4. After 0440 hours, March 2 the vessel shifted its course toward the
north-west and headed for Yaizu. It entered the port of Yaizu at 0600 hours on
III. Circumstances of the Accident:-
1. About 0412 hours on March 1, a reddish brilliant light was seen in the
direction of west-southwest of the vessel. The color of this light gradually
turned to white-yellow and again back to red and faded away.
2. No wind resulting from the explosion was felt within the next seven or
eight minutes by two blasts were heard in succession. A cloud having the shape
of a mushroom was seen in the direction where the light was first seen and this
cloud started to expand covering the sky with dark clouds.
3. As the crew saw the light, some of them realized that probably an atomic
test, about which they remembered having read in the newspapers, might have
occurred. Anticipating danger, they started hauling in the lines at about 0430
hours, from the position where they had previously finished setting the lines,
progressing in the opposite direction toward the northeast. The lines were
hauled in by machine using what is called a line-hauler. While hauling in the
lines the vessel's engine repeated the process of "go slow ahead" and "stop"
and the same again. In the present instance all hands with the exception of a
few engineers on watch were working on the upper deck and in the wheel house.
4. In the midst of the operation of hauling lines, about three (3) hours later
than the moment the light had been seen, and at the estimated position of Lat.
11 56 3/4'N. and Long. 166 42 1/2'E. ashes started to fall on the deck, which
was turned white. As the hauling operation ended about 1030 hours in the
vicinity of the estimated position of Lat. 12 03'N. and Long. 166 53'E. the
vessel headed for north in the direction where ashes were not falling and
cruised with a speed of seven (7) nautical miles per hr. trying to evacuate the
5. The crew, after having hauled in the lines, worked on the upper deck
engaging in processing the catch. The ashes kept falling until about noon,
when the vessel reached the estimated position of Lat. 12 14'N. and Long. 166
6. In the following two or three days all the crew suffered from a slight
headache and some of them felt nausea.
7. Seven or eight days after the accident, the crew began to feel painful
irritations, from what looked like burns on the neck, face, ears and places
where they wore "hachimaki" (a cotton towel wrapped around the head) which were
exposed to the ashes.
1. There is no evidence that the Fukuryu Maru No. 5 received warnings, by
radio message or any other means, while being in the area before the accident
Investigation conducted so far showed no evidence of any receipt of any kind of
waning by vessels other than the Fukuryu Maru No. 5.
2. The crew of the vessel did not hear any sound of aircraft at the time of
3. Matters Relating to Communications:
a. The communication log is found to have been duly and properly entered.
b. The vessel had one (1) Licensed Radio Operator, Second Class, who has a
slight knowledge of English.
c. The condition of the radio equipment was good.
d. Listening hours of the vessel's radio were unfixed.
e. The communication waves were 2091 kc and 3251.5 kc.
V. Degree of the Damage:
The Amount of damage suffered by the Fukuryu Maru No. 5 is now under
FROM AIDE MEMOIRE OF MARCH 27, (TIMES ARE JAPANESE)
(ship reported time of flash 0412, 1 March 1954 (local or ship's time)
POSITION OF FUKURYU MARU
Time of Burst 11 53-1/4'N, 166 34-1/4'E
Time Fallout Started 11 56-3/4'N, 166 42-1/2'E
Time Fallout Stopped 12 14'N, 166 53'E.
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