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Firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo.
Firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo. (Courtesy of Nishitokyo City)
Firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo.
Firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo. (Courtesy of Nishitokyo City)
This training grenade was among a chache of World War II-era weapons found recently beneath a Tokyo elementary school playground.
This training grenade was among a chache of World War II-era weapons found recently beneath a Tokyo elementary school playground. (Courtesy of Nishitokyo City)
Japanese firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo.
Japanese firearms, swords and ammunition believed to be from World War II were recently discovered buried beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo. (Courtesy of Nishitokyo City)

TOKYO — Thousands of Japanese firearms and swords believed to be from World War II have been discovered beneath an elementary school playground in western Tokyo.

About 1,400 firearms, 1,200 swords, eight training grenades and more than 300 bullets and cannonballs were uncovered over the course of several weeks by constructions workers digging to build a warehouse at Tanashi Elementary School, Nishitokyo city officials said. All were severely rusted and decayed and found between 1 and 2 meters below the surface.

It’s unclear when or why the items were buried there, but the city believes they belonged to the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

There’s no danger of an explosion, according to police and members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces who checked the items.

The training grenades and bullets were collected by police and Self-Defense Forces, while the firearms – believed to be replicas – and swords were to be disposed of by the city.

The city may also consider keeping them for historical reasons, but may not be able to do so because of their condition.

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com

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