Did you know – the Japanese Navy protected Australia in WWI?

During a Remembrance Day service onboard HMAS Arunta at Sasebo Naval Base yesterday, RAN Chaplain Graham Swan reminisced on the little known fact that the Japanese Navy had sailed from Sasebo to escort Australian ships transporting Australian soldiers to fight in the Great War.

CAPTION: Members of HMAS Arunta’s ship’s company stand at attention during a Remembrance Day ceremony while alongside Sasebo Naval Base, Japan. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.

“Japanese ships were also tasked with the defence of parts of the Australian coast during World War I when the bulk of the RAN ships were deployed to Europe,” Chaplain Swan said.

To mark the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I, and to commemorate those who have served and died in all wars and armed conflicts, the ship’s company of HMAS Arunta observed a minute’s silence on the flight deck at 11am on November 11 in Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.

Commanding Officer Arunta Troy Duggan laid a wreath created by Chief Petty Officer Maritime Personnel Manager Tanya Lee and other members of the ship’s craft club.

The ship and its crew have conducted numerous exercises with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force over the past five months.

Arunta sailed from the Port of Darwin on October 11 for a six-week regional deployment throughout east Asia.

She also recently conducted North Korean sanctions-enforcement patrols.

Arunta will return to her home port at Fleet Base West, Western Australia, later this year after an absence of 164 days.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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