Researchers capture images of Japanese aircraft carrier sunk in WWII

An international research team has successfully captured images of a Japanese aircraft carrier that was sunk in the 1942 Battle of Midway in World War Two.

The team led by US experts announced on Friday that it had surveyed the carrier Akagi using a submarine in waters northwest of Hawaii for four days from September 8.

Footage shows clear images of the wreck sitting at a depth of more than 5,100 meters. The images include those of an imperial chrysanthemum crest on the bow, an anchor lying on the seabed, and machine guns and turrets.

The location of the Akagi was identified in 2019, but this is the first time the carrier has been captured on video.

In the 1942 Battle of Midway, the Imperial Japanese Navy lost four aircraft carriers, including the Akagi. The battle is considered to have been a turning point in the war.

The team said it also managed to capture detailed images of two other aircraft carriers sunk in the battle -- the Kaga and the USS Yorktown.

The research mission was supported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

In a statement, the Japanese Embassy in Washington said that Japan and the United States once fought in the Pacific, but now join hands as allies and fellow researchers in the same waters.

It went on to say that the survey is a reminder that "today's peace and tomorrow's discoveries are built on the sacrifices of war," and that it is meaningful for the two countries to deepen their cooperation.