Divers who went down to visit a sunk World War II era Japanese warship off the coast of Palau were surprised to find that someone had recently erected a large Chinese national flag.
According to Kyodo News, The flag was found on March 21 attached to the wreckage of the fleet oiler Iro of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship lies on the 40-meter deep seabed about 8 kilometers off Koror Island, Palau. The area is a popular spot for divers visiting the archipelago.
On March 31, 1944 the ship was attacked and sunk in Palau Harbor by United States Navy aircraft carrier fighters from the Fast Carrier Task Force during Operation Desecrate One.
The discovery comes at a rather sensitive time for the Japanese. Japan Times reports that early next month the Japanese Imperial Household will be visiting the site to commemorate those lost during World War Two as part of a two-day visit to Palau.
Palau has recently become a popular destination for Chinese tourists, with some locals accusing the Chinese of being noisy and disrespectful when visiting the island.
By Dominic Jackson
[Images via sankei.com]