Bombing during WWII

NKK’s cane fields on the island of Rota were established on the high-plateau at the north end of the island, and they built a processing facility on the south end of the island, near the east harbor.

The two locations were connected by a narrow gauge railroad. Cane from the northern fields was transported by train to the processing facility on the south end of the island.

At the onset of the 1940s, the Japanese people living in the Northern Mariana islands turned their attention to the threat of world war and Japan’s involvement in it.

Most of NKK’s employees returned back to Japan in order to make way for a new war oriented political administration. It wasn’t long before American planes started flying over the island, and the sugar mills of NKK became popular targets for the bombers.

By June of 1944 the facilities on Saipan were completely destroyed by bombing and fighting. The sugar mill on Rota sustained heavy damage from bombs, and one of the engines survived.

Today there are very few remains of NKK’s sugar processing efforts. The fields on the north end of the island are still fertile and they are used for agricultural purposes to this day. Some of the roads on the island follow the old railroad beds, and there are ruins from the processing facility on the south end of the island.

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