|Coaling the Pacific Mail S.S. "Siberia" at the fortified naval station of Nagasaki, Japan, 1904|
Sasebo was a small fishing village until shortly after the start of the Meiji period. The Imperial Japanese Navy chose to build a naval base here based on its protected, deep-water harbor, geographic proximity to China and Korea, and the presence of nearby coal fields. The base, founded in 1886, became the major port for the Japanese navy in its operations in the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, and remained a major naval base to the end of World War II. Along with the base facilities, the navy also constructed the Sasebo Naval Arsenal, which included major shipyards and repair facilities.Via Posthip Scott.