Yokosuka: The US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz made a port call at the US Navy base in Yokosuka, west of Tokyo, on Monday.
The US Navy said the port call is intended to provide the crew with rest and replenish supplies. But observers said it may be part of US efforts to make Yokosuka a hub for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
The Nimitz is scheduled to depart Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, in a few days.
The Nimitz left its home port of San Diego, California, at the end of July on a regularly scheduled deployment to the western Pacific. It is believed to be keeping a watch on
North Korea and engaging in other missions in place of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington, based at Yokosuka.
The George Washington is now out of Yokosuka on missions, including participation in a drill in waters near Australia.
Yokosuka is the US Navy`s only home port outside the US mainland for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers with full support facilities for such vessels.
A Japanese government source said Japan and the United States arranged the date for the Nimitz` port call at Yokosuka bearing in mind the anniversaries of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II on August 6 and 9, respectively, as well as the August 15 anniversary of the end of the Pacific theatre of the war.