JS Hamagiri. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Three MSDF destroyers visited the Vietnamese port of Haiphong Sunday, starting a visit expected to last through Friday.

They are the destroyers JS Hamagiru (sic), JS Sawayuki and JS Asayuki, led by Colonel Tomoo Mizukami, commander of the Japanese Navy’s 15th fleet of Escort Ships.

Colonel Mizukami and the ships’ officers paid courtesy visits to Haiphong’s authorities, and the Commanders of Military Zone 3 and the Vietnam Navy Force.

Admiral Tran Dinh Xuyen confirmed that the two navy forces’ reciprocal exchange of visits are a vivid manifestation of the fine development of friendship and cooperative relations between the peoples, armies and navy forces of Vietnam and Japan.

Colonel Mizukami expressed his belief that bilateral relations will further develop to meet the aspirations and interests of the two nations.

Japanese crewmembers played volleyball friendlies with local navy officers and staff, and visited the Vietnam Navy Museum.

The Japanese vessels are scheduled to leave Haiphong on March 13.

This is the fifth time Japanese navy ships have visited Vietnam to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries and their defence organisations. (Link)

There appear to be a number of things wrong with the article, such as giving Mr. Mizukami an army rank, and misspelling the name of JS Hamagiri. But the visit seems widely reported in the Vietnamese online press.

Ships from the MSDF’s anti-piracy patrol routinely visit countries in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia on their way back from their rotation, but this appears to be a separate visit by a MSDF Escort Squadron. All three ships are unusually old by MSDF standards.

I was on Sawayuki last year, when it visited San Francisco with the MSDF Japan Training Squadron. Like all MSDF ships, she was immaculate.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch