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Day: <span>October 27, 2023</span>

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Ehime: Old Plane Continues to Convey Message of Peace

AINAN, Ehime — The last original Shiden Kai World War II fighter plane in Japan will never fly again, but it continues to fulfill an important mission by conveying wishes for peace to future generations thanks to the dedicated efforts of engineers and experts who repaired the aircraft.
The Shiden Kai was found at the bottom of Hisayoshi Bay off the coast of Ainan, Ehime Prefecture, in November 1978. It is believed to be an aircraft that failed to return during the war.
In the summer of 1979, the Ehime prefectural government asked what is now ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd., an aircraft manufacturer in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, to repair the aircraft. Kawanishi Aircraft Co., a forerunner of ShinMaywa, had made the planes, which were used by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Yasushi Ikeda, then 44, was dispatched to oversee the work on-site and put together a repair team of about 15 members, which included the operator of a sheet metal business in Tokushima Prefecture.
“We had to feel our way through this work, and problems we’d never imagined kept popping up,” recalled Ikeda, now 88.

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