Japan navy vessels arrive on training cruise

Minister for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu accompanied by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Training Squadron Rear Admiral Daisuke Kajimoto inspects the guard of honor by the Training Squadron of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force onboard the Kashima while berthed at the Kings Wharf in Suva on Friday, August 23, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

MINISTER for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu paid a courtesy visit to the Japanese naval ships JS Kashima and JS Inazuma as they called into port at the Suva Kings Wharf yesterday.

While onboard the JS Kashima, Mr Seruiratu officiated at a guard of honour presented to him by the navy personnel on board both vessels.

A statement from the Japanese embassy states the two navy vessels are part of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (or Japanese navy) training squadron.

The squadron is conducting an overseas training cruise in the Pacific.

“The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has been conducting the overseas training cruise annually since 1957,” the statement said.

“This port call to Suva will be the first time in 16 years. During the port call, the Government of Republic of Fiji, the training squadron and the Embassy of Japan in Fiji promote our friendship through several exchange programs such as planting of mangroves, sport exchange at Albert Park, cultural exchange at the Suva library and school visit and military exchange.”

Members of the public have been invited to tour the JS Inazuma today and attend a joint musical concert at the Japan ICT Centre at the USP Laucala Bay campus on Monday.

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