Visit to Japan strengthens relationship
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond visited Japan for high-level talks and official events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy personnel from HMA Ships Hobart, Stalwart and Farncomb march during the International Fleet Review 2022 parade in Yokosuka, Japan. Story by Lieutenant Brendan Trembath. Photos by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.
Vice Admiral Hammond said it was great to be in Japan with almost 700 Australian sailors and officers for the JMSDF anniversary.
“This is a significant and historic event for the JMSDF and we are proud to partner with them to commemorate their rich history and our strategic relationship with one of the most capable navies in the region,” he said.
On November 3, Vice Admiral Hammond attended a Navy parade through the port city of Yokosuka, home of the JMSDF and the US 7th Fleet.
Vice Admiral Hammond joined Commander of the US 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, and other VIPs to review marching contingents from Japan and the Indo-Pacific region.
Tens of thousands of spectators lined the streets for the spectacle which included personnel from HMA Ships Hobart, Stalwart and Farncomb.
“To witness the welcome we received from the people of Japan it’s been heart-warming,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
“It is just remarkable to be on parade with our Japanese and US partners and a whole bunch of other navies from across the region.”
Before Vice Admiral Hammond arrived in Yokosuka he had high-level talks at Japan’s Ministry of Defense in the Tokyo metropolis of Shinjuku.
“The discussions that I have had here with the Chief of Navy, Japanese Chief of the Defense Force and Deputy Minister for Defense have all been warm,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
“They have all been focused on partnering together to advance peace and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific.”
Vice Admiral Hammond described the relationship between the Royal Australian Navy and its Japanese counterpart as close and strong.
“That relationship is just getting stronger and deeper. For example, our ships have spent more than 40 days operating together in the last couple of months,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
He noted that Japanese Ship Kirisame – which participated in Exercise Kakadu in northern Australia in September –was currently hosting HMAS Arunta at the JMSDF Sasebo Naval Base in the southern island of Kyushu.