A fire official says more than 16,000 people were evacuated from a Tokyo suburb while an unexploded 1-ton bomb believed was defused.

The bomb was believed to have been dropped by the U.S. military during World War II.

The rusty bomb was defused by a team from Japan's Self-Defense Force in Chofu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, said Tokyo Fire Department official Shigeru Ishikawa.

"Residents stayed at nearby public schools for evacuation," Ishikawa said. About 16,490 people had to leave their homes for about two hours, he said.

The bomb, believed to have been dropped by a B-29 bomber, was found by construction workers in March.