JDS Makinami at RIMPAC 2008. US Navy photo.

I believe this is the sixth rotation of ships to the anti-piracy mission.

A Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer left the Sasebo base in Nagasaki Prefecture on Thursday for antipiracy operations off Somalia under a law authorizing MSDF warships to escort commercial vessels sailing under any flag.

The 4,650-ton Makinami will link up with the 3,550-ton MSDF destroyer Setogiri, which left its base in Ominato in Aomori Prefecture on Monday. The two vessels will replace the MSDF destroyers Murasame and Yugiri, which are currently engaged in antipiracy operations, in mid- September. (Link)

The fifth rotation, consisting of the destroyers JDS Murasame and JDS Yuugiri, began escort operations off the coast of Africa on June 5th. Fresh destroyers seem to be rotated through every three months.

JDS Makinami is a Takanami-class general purpose destroyer, roughly comparable to the American Spruance-class destroyers, while JDS Setogiri is an Asagiri-class destroyer (really, a frigate) roughly comparable to the Perry-class frigates.

Here’s a YouTube video of Setogiri testing her ASROC launcher.

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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 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch