I figured it was either a fuel tank or a buoy, but yeah, the headline picture IS misleading…
“It’s a pod! It’s a smeggin’ garbage pod!”
Looks like Mark or someone else removed it, yay.
Obviously it is an ordinary float utilized for ocean industrial or fishing. This one was probably a simple mooring bouy float which lost its anchor line. I would imagine that many Japanese along that shore who encountered it already knew that, and considered it quite ordinary.
It is basically the same type of float mooring bouy as the top red float on that “totem pole” of marine float gear outside the Beachcombing Museum. You can see it on a “street view” here. Google Maps
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