MoS External Affairs sees pre-world war – II era Japanese Binocular Telescope

Port Blair
21 Jun 2018

The Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr MJ Akbar was shown the pre-world war – II era Japanese Binocular Telescope at Raj Niwas by Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.), Lt. Governor, A & N Islands.
The telescope is installed inside the office of Lt. Governor and oversees the Ross Island and the entrance to Port Blair Harbour. The pre-World War-II Binocular Telescope was manufactured by erstwhile Nikko Optics of Japan (currently Nikon Corporation). It appears that Nippon Kogau K.K. was then the primary manufacturer of military optics to Japanese Imperial Government. It is believed that this Binocular Telescope was used by Admirals Teizo Hara and Ishikawa between 1942-45 during their stay at Raj Niwas to track warship movements around the harbour. The brass tally affixed on the Binoculars indicates manufacturing in "Showa 13 Month 3" (March 1938) and binoculars' number as 105. This Binocular Telescope appears to have been removed from one of the 05 heavy Cruisers (Chokai, Kumano, Suzuya, Mikuma and Mogami) of Imperial Japanese Navy which were deployed in Andaman & Nicobar Islands around that time and were reportedly equipped with such binoculars.
The binocular telescope having been dysfunctional for around seven decades was refurbished in April 2018 by Naval Dockyard, Vishakhapatnam with the help of Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun. The historic binoculars have been restored to their original condition and are fully functional in all respects.