Japanese destroyers welcome public aboard in Germany

Japanese destroyer alongside in the German Navy Base Warnemünde. Photo: 2016 Bundeswehr/Pascal Preuss
Japanese destroyers alongside in the German Navy Base Warnemünde. Photo: 2016 Bundeswehr/Pascal Preuss

Two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships pulled into the German international port of Rostock for a four-day visit on August 12.

JDS Asagiri and JDS Setoyuka are former-destroyers-turned-training ships currently on a sail around the world which they started on May 20 along with JDS Kashima, the JMSDF training fleet flagship.

The ships, with some 200 trainees aboard, are expected to return to Japan on November 4 when sailors will have visited 16 ports in 13 states during their trip.

The squadron’s last port call was Klaipeda, Lithuania, after which JDS Kashima parted with the group to sail for Antwerp, Belgium while Asagiri and Setoyuka traveled to Rostock.

Rear Admiral Hidetoshi Iwasaki is at the helm of the training squadron which consists of over 750 sailors, 200 of whom are newly promoted officers. Apart from educating personnel, the squadron’s role is to promote international relationships through port visits and engagements.

During their stay in Rostock, destroyers staged open ship days for the visitors of the German Hanse Sail, a four-day maritime festival in its 26th iteration this year.

The two destroyers will leave the Rostock port on August 16 to reunite with the JDS Kashima before they set sail for Valleta, Malta.

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