Soya, Japan´s first Antarctic exploration vessel, today forms a key exhibit of Tokyo´s Maritime Museum. Originally ordered in 1936 by the Soviet Union as one of three cargo icebreakers under the name Borochavets, and launched in 1938, the deal was cancelled and the ship commissioned in Japan as Chiryo Maru. In 1940, the vessel was taken over by the Imperial Japanese Navy, probably to transport ordnance. She was renamed Soya after a province in Hokkaido and the strait between Hokkaido and Sachalin. Soya survived the war and in 1956 was extensively converted for Antarctic exploration service. Between 1956 and 1962, she undertook six trips to the Antarctic. At Luetzow-Holm - Bay on Queen Maud – Land, the Japanese scientific station Showa was constructed.