(population 434,000) is the fourth-largest city
in Kanagawa Prefecture
. It is located on the Miura Peninsula
about 15 km south of Yokohama
, guarding the west side of the Uraga Channel
that leads into Tokyo Bay
and the ports of Tokyo
The Yokosuka area has been settled since ancient times, but its entry into the Japanese feudal system came in the eleventh century. It was one of the only deep water ports in the country at the time, but otherwise held very little importance. The Ming Dynasty of China began sending ships to Yokosuka in the mid-1500's, but the area was not developed until the arrival of Will Adams (Anjin-san) in 1600, when new shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to experiment with a Japanese navy based in the vicinity of Edo.
By the mid-1600's, Japan was closed to the rest of the world, and so virtually all of its deep-water ports fell into disuse, with the exception of Nagasaki. Yokosuka sprung back to life following the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry at nearby Uraga in 1853, and became Japan's largest naval base once again. In 1907, when Yokosuka was incorporated as a town, its population was just over 60,000, and it had one of the largest iron works in the country to support Japanese shipbuilding operations.
After the end of World War II, the Allied occupation of Japan confiscated all of Japan's major military bases. The main port facilities at Yokosuka, which had been requisitioned by the Imperial military for the war, were picked up by the United States Navy, and are now the headquarters of the Seventh Fleet, led by the battle group of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. Today, this is the largest overseas base of the United States Armed Forces: 23,000 American personnel are stationed on a peninsula and island north of the city center.
Civilian shipping operations at Yokosuka, centered around the New Port to the southeast of the naval base, handle 16 million tons of cargo each year in 98 berths. The port is becoming more popular as an alternative to Tokyo, Chiba, and Yokohama, because of continuing improvements in the expressway infrastructure leading to and from Yokosuka. The city is also growing as a center for telecommunications research.
JR and the Keikyu Railway serve Yokosuka from other points in the Kanto.
thanks to gn0sis for contributing