Three Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Ships, JS Kashima, JS Setoyuki and JS Asagiri have arrived at Garden Island, Sydney, for a three-day port visit.
The ships are part of the JMSDF Training Squadron. Since 1956, the Squadron has been conducting annual overseas training cruises to develop the knowledge and skills of Junior Officers, who have completed the General Officer Midshipman’s Course at the JMSDF candidate school.
Commodore Training Force, Commodore Michael Rothwell says he was pleased to officially welcome the Training Squadron to Sydney.
“It was a real pleasure to welcome the Commander Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Hideki Yuasa, to Sydney, along with his force of three ships comprising around 730 personnel, including 170 officers under training,” Commodore Rothwell said.
“The visit provides an opportunity for people of both our navies to interact, learn and form bonds as mariners do. During the visit, both navies will take part in a sports competition and Australian personnel will have the opportunity to tour the training ships.”
“The Japanese will also take the opportunity to honour the war dead of both our nations by laying wreaths to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Second World War,” Commodore Rothwell said.
Commander JMSDF Meteorology Staff, Japan Training Squadron Lieutenant Takahiko Yogura said the trainees have been learning many mariner skills during the deployment, but are pleased to spend some time at port in Sydney.
"We have visited many places during our deployment, but Sydney is the city the trainees are most looking forward to exploring,” Lieutenant Yogura said.
"Our trainees have been working very hard during this deployment. They have been looking forward to this visit, which is the first time for many of them to Australia.”
The Training Squadron is part way through an extended international voyage which has already taken the ships to ports in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and New Zealand. Following their stay in Sydney, the training squadron will continue on a tour through the Pacific and visit the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines.