Volcano that was lair of You Only Live Twice Bond villain Blofelt erupts in Japan (Details)


A Japanese volcano that was used as a lair by James Bond’s nemesis has erupted, sending a plume of smoke thousands of metres into the air.

Shinmoedake eruped for the first time since April on Friday, less than a week after a strong earthquake shook the west of Japan.

Television images showed smoke and ash rising into the air above peak of the volcano, which was used as the setting for Ernst Stavro Blofelt’s secret lair in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.

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Rock was thrown around 1,100 metres (3,609ft) from the mountain, according to TBS television.

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Sean Connery and Mie Hama after escaping from the volcano in You Only Live Twice

The volcano is located in Kagoshima Prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, 616 miles from the Japanese capital of Tokyo.

It is believed to have formed between 7,300 and 25,000 years ago.

Volcano interior set for You Only Live Twice, 1967
The set of Ernst Stavro Blofelt’s secret lair in the 1967 film

In the film, MI6 agent Bond – played by Sean Connery – is dispatched to Japan to investigate after American and Soviet manned spacecraft mysteriously disappear whilst in orbit.

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The Shinmoedake crater acted as a hidden base, from which Blofeld launched his own spacecraft to intercept and capture the US and Soviet shuttles.

It erupted last year and has done so on several occasions this year, putting residents in the mainly rural area on notice with restricted access to the 1,421m (4,662ft) mountain.

Shinmoedake peak erupting between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures in southwestern Japan
The eruption threw rock around 1,100m from the volcano

A large eruption on 6 March saw rocks and ash thrown to a height of 4,500m (14,764ft).

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Japan has 110 active volcanoes and monitors 47 of them at all times.

In 2014, 63 people were killed on Mount Ontake – the most fatalities from a volcanic eruption in Japan for nearly 90 years.

On Monday, an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude struck Osaka – Japan’s second largest city – killing five people including a nine-year-old schoolgirl.


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