Members of the Royal Australian Navy and international dignitaries gathered on Thursday at a base in Sydney to remember the lives lost in the 1942 Japanese midget submarine attack on the city during the second world war. Japanese Consul General Keizo Takewaka was joined by international representatives from Britain and the United States to lay wreaths in memory of the 21 Australian and British military personnel, as well as six Japanese sailors who died in the attack, which sunk the accommodation ferry HMAS Kuttabul. Submarines and frigates: Australia unveils multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan Commander Andrew Fraser, commanding officer of HMAS Kuttabul base – Sydney’s largest naval base named after the sunken ferry – said although the attack is commemorated every year, remembrance remains as important as ever. “Time has of course brought two adversaries together, and as we lay wreaths today, we reflect not only on the Australian lives lost, but the British and Japanese personnel who showed great bravery and made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their respective nations,” he said. On the night of May 31, 1942, Japan deployed three two-man midget submarines off the Sydney coast, with the intention of sinking allied warships in the harbour. Two of the submarines were detected before being able to cause damage, but the third fired torpedoes that exploded beneath HMAS Kuttabul.