TOKYO -- Several sightings of a large whale splashing around in Tokyo Bay have recently been reported and the large creature has even been captured breaching on film.
A man on a fishing boat reported having seen a whale off the Kasai area in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward on the morning of June 18, revealed the Tokyo Coast Guard Office. A total of nine sightings were reported by noon of June 25, and at least one person said the whale was approximately 10 to 15 meters long. The whale has appeared in areas ranging from near Arakawa estuary to around the Umihotaru Parking Area of the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, in upper Tokyo Bay.
Akihito Naiki, 47, the operator of a fishing boat living in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, told the Mainichi Shimbun that he saw a whale about four kilometers north off the Umihotaru Parking Area at around 3 p.m. on June 24. "The whale repeatedly jumped out of the water about 20 times over 20 minutes," he said.
According to Gen Nakamura, assistant professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, the animal seems to be a humpback whale due to its pectoral fin feature. Nakamura said, "Now is the season for humpback whales to move north as they chase sardines to eat. I presume the whale strayed into Tokyo Bay during its migration."
(Japanese original by Norihito Hanamure, City News Department)