SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Sasebo tourists beginning this month can put this U.S. Navy base on their sightseeing lists.

The Navy base said it has approved a monthly public walking tour of the base.

The base and the Sasebo Convention and Visitors Association collaborated on a pilot walking tour in March and raised enough interest to make it a regular offering, according to base spokesman Charles Howard.

Sasebo Naval Base has a 120-year military history and was once operated by the Japanese Imperial Navy. It recently added historical markers, which are on the tour route, and was awarded last year for its historical preservation efforts.

The base is home to a former Imperial navy supply depot that has been renovated, a basin that once was the largest mooring area in the Far East and command offices that some believe were used to transmit the orders to bomb Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Howard proposed the walking tour along with local historian Phil Eakins after spearheading the effort to mark seven historical sites at the base.

Monuments along the tour route include the Fleet Landing, the Harbor View Pond, India Basin and Japanese-built brick structures.

"We have a solid core of Japanese employees serving as volunteer tour guides and great command support for the initiative," Howard said.

The base was the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Award winner for cultural resources management in 2007, according to Howard.

The first walking tour will be held on May 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force headquarters and pier, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Only 10 spots are open for participants, who must be a Japanese national, and the cost is 4,800 yen, according to the paper.

"Two great Navies played significant roles in the military history of Sasebo harbor," Howard said. "Now, we’re partnering with the city to share that history and foster the interaction and sharing of our cultures."

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