Reception Marks Arrival of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron

Two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessels – JS Kashima and JS Hatakaze – docked in San Diego from Thursday, Sept. 21 until Sunday, Sept. 24, led by Training Squadron Commander and Rear Admiral Yasushige Konno. The vessels arrived with some 560 crew members, including about 160 officer trainees who recently graduated from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Officer Candidate School, who will sail for about 150 days, making 11 port visits in 8 countries.

The Training Squadron sails with the purpose of training newly commissioned officers, promoting friendship with nations through port visits, and enriching understanding about Japan. San Diego has hosted past exercises between the U.S. military and JMSDF, making it an important part of the Japan-U.S. friendship.

On the evening of September 21, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Kenko Sone and Commander Konno co-hosted a reception aboard the JS Kashima. Senior naval officers, including commanders from the Naval Surface Forces, Coast Guard Sector San Diego, as well as representatives from local Japanese community attended the reception.

The reception started with a traditional Japanese kagami-biraki ceremony, where the lid of a sake barrel is broken open with a wooden mallet and sake is served. Reception attendees also enjoyed a musical performance by JMSDF members, enjoying delicious Japanese cuisine using fresh ingredients from Japan. The evening was a success, helping to strengthen the Japan-U.S. friendship.
Welcome Ceremony Lecture by Consul General Sone
Luncheon hosted by Commander Special ship tour for luncheon participants
Reception Wreath Laying Ceremony
Welcome Party by Japanese Coordination Council Welcome Lunch hosted by Southwestern Yacht Club
Joint Concert Send-off Ceremony