140 years ago, Tadamasa Oguri said Japan needed
a navy. Francois Leonce Verny said he’d build one. So they did, and 140 years later, people are still thanking them for it. According to a Stars and Stripes report
, the two men were honored in a recent Yokosuka ceremony. Statues of Oguri and Verny look out over the 1865 shipyard that is still used today as a part of the Yokosuka Naval Base. The shipyard — a collaboration of a 28-year-old naval engineer from France and a finance magistrate — brought Yokosuka, and consequently Japan, into the industrial age, said the report.
Ines Soavi and Misa Oguri, relatives of the men, met at the ceremony for the first time. U.S. Naval personnel also attended, along with Yokosuka city representatives and dignitaries from France. The anniversary is celebrated each year.
Source: Stars and Stripes