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Japanese ships on goodwill visit

One of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) training cruise ships – JS Yamagiri (DD-152) docked at Muara Port. – BAHYIAH BAKIR

BY James Kon

THREE Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) overseas training cruise ships – the JS Sawagiri, JS Yamagiri and JS Yamayuki – docked at Muara Port yesterday morning on a four-day goodwill visit.

Welcoming the Japanese vessels were the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) band and officials as well as Japanese nationals residing in Brunei Darussalam.

The Commander of the JMSDF’s Escort Division 11, Captain Isamu Kaji, who was on board the JS Yamagiri, was greeted by senior officers from the RBN.

During their stay in Brunei, the crew of the three ships will take part in several activities together with members of the RBN, including sports sessions, a ship tour with RBN officers, as well as a beach cleanup at Meragang Beach in Muara.

The JS Yamagiri will host an onboard ship reception tonight.

Captain Isamu Kaji expressed his excitement being in Brunei for the first time and hopes to build on Japan’s joint defence relationship with Brunei.

“Our mission is also to train the 100 Japanese cadets on board the ships. There are also some 500 crew members on board the ship,” he said.

Brunei is the first port of call for the ships, which will be heading to Thailand on Wednesday.

Describing the strong ties in defence between Brunei and Japan, Captain Kaji said, “A week ago, our navy aircraft conducted a training exercise with the RBN. Our ships visit Brunei every year.”

Previous visits by the JMSDF to Brunei have been successful in enhancing mutual cooperation between the navies of Japan and Brunei, and have contributed to developing closer relations and bilateral ties between the two nations.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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