Wayward mortar damages civilian vehicle as Japanese soldiers train east of Kyoto
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is investigating after a stray mortar landed near a public roadway and struck a civilian vehicle in a prefecture just east of Kyoto.
The incident occurred at about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday when three mortars went wide of their target during routine training at the Aibano Training Area in Takashima City, Shiga prefecture, said JGSDF spokesman Muneyuki Yatsuo.
One of the 81mm trench mortars — nearly 16 inches long and weighing nearly 9 pounds — landed about 130 feet from the vehicle of Chohtaro Kawamura, 71, he told Japan’s Fuji News Network. He was not injured, but the mortar blasted out a window, dented the body of his vehicle and damaged the asphalt.
“I heard a loud sound and the next thing I know, I saw the rear window shattered and saw dust coming from the ground,” he said. “I saw the asphalt surface was ripped off, and I saw a metal mortar on the ground.”
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