Heritage: Japanese Midget Submaring

In an exchange of diplomatic notes signed jointly at the Department of Commerce on February 12, 2004, Japan and the United States agreed that the U.S. owns the historic sunken Japanese midget submarine located deep off the entrance of Pearl Harbor. In partnership with the National Park Service, NOAA is playing a key role in the protection and management of the Japanese midget submarine pursuant to U.S. policy on sunken vessels and historic preservation laws. The International Section has played an instrumental role in the development of the U.S.–Japanese agreement on the Japanese midget submarine as well as the implementing management plan because of the office's expertise in international and domestic law regarding historic shipwrecks. Consistent with the U.S. — Japanese Agreement and the U.S. Federal Archaeological Program, there are currently no plans to salvage the Japanese midget submarine. Instead the preferred approach in the Agreement and in the federal cooperative management plan is for preservation in place.

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