Japan Trench

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The Japan Trench can be seen to the right of Japan, and is noticeably deeper than elsewhere

The Japan Trench (日本海溝,   Nihon Kaikō) is an oceanic trench, and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. It extends from the Kuril Islands to the Ogasawara Islands and is 9,000 meters (30,000 ft) at its deepest. It is an extension of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench to its north and the Izu-Ogasawara Trench to its south. This trench is created when the Oceanic Pacific Plate subducts beneath the Continental Eurasian Plate. The subduction process, together with the friction created, 'drags' the oceanic plate underneath the continental plate which Japan sits on, causing a deep-sea trench to be formed. The interactions of the tectonic plates at the Japan Trench is one of the reasons why tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan are relatively frequent.

On August 11, 1989, the Shinkai 6500 three-person submersible descended to 6,526 meters (21,414 ft.) while exploring the Japan Trench.


Showa era

Submersion of Japan

Dr. Tadokoro, Onodera Toshio and Assistant Professor Yukinaga used a submersible to descend into the trench, and find the source of the chaos which was affecting Japan.

Millennium era

Godzilla: Tokyo SOS

After being ordered to finish off the helpless Godzilla, Kiryu became once again possessed by the first Godzilla's spirit, and disobeyed the order. Instead of killing his counterpart, Kiryu grabbed the restrained Godzilla and flew him over the Pacific Ocean, heading straight for the Japan Trench. Kiryu noticed that operator Yoshito Chujo was still at the controls, and turned upside down so that Yoshito could fall through an open hatch to safety. Kiryu displayed the message "Sayonara Yoshito" on a monitor and plunged into the Japan Trench, sinking himself with Godzilla. In doing so, Kiryu simultaneously saved the life of one of his own kind and saved Japan from enduring Godzilla's wrath in the near future.


Godzilla, King of the Monsters Special

With Godzilla and the other Disaster Monsters being drawn to Tokyo by the ancient slab they had unearthed, Professor Morio Yoshiwara instructed Burton Helzer to airlift the slab by helicopter over the sea and drop it into the Japan Trench. Helzer obliged, lifting the slab with his chopper while Yoshiwara sacrificed his life to buy Helzer time by crashing another chopper into Godzilla's face. Helzer carried the slab out over Tokyo Bay and into the ocean, with Godzilla in hot pursuit. With Godzilla gaining, Helzer attempted to drop the slab, but realized that Soran was flying right above him. Helzer finally managed to release the slab, which sank beneath the waves. Godzilla and Soran both dove after it. After a few moments, Soran finally surfaced and flew away, while Godzilla continued to descend after the slab into the Japan Trench. Helzer managed to escape, having successfully spared the world from Godzilla's wrath, albeit only temporarily.

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