Training exercise to remove pumice held in waters near Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Two boats collect floating ping-pong balls in a training exercise to remove pumice from the waters off Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday.

TATEYAMA, Chiba — A training exercise to gather and remove pumice from the water was held off southern Chiba Prefecture on Monday. The drill was conducted to prepare for the possibility of the massive amounts of pumice, which spewed from an underwater volcano near the Ogasawara Islands, reaching the Boso Peninsula and nearby waters.

The exercise was organized by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry’s Kanto Regional Development Bureau and took place off Tateyama Port in Tateyama and its surrounding waters. Two boats pulled both ends of a 100-meter-long containment boom to collect ping-pong balls, used to simulate pumice, before scooping them out of the water.

Pumice, thought to have originated from the underwater volcano, was found in the waters near Tateyama and Katsuura in November.

“We want to share what we learned after conducting the drill with relevant organizations and local governments, so we can be prepared for the arrival of the pumice,” said Takashi Kiyomizu, director in charge of port and airport affairs of the bureau.