JS Yudachi in port in Colombo. Sri Lankan Navy photo.

MSDF destroyers JS Yudachi and JS Kirisame, the seventh pair of MSDF destroyers deployed to the Horn of Africa anti-piracy mission, are coming home to Japan. The two missed the March 11th Great Tohoku Earthquake and the massive MSDF fleet sortie that followed, and are making their way back to Maizuru.

The ships were in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 19th. Sri Lanka’s navy web site has the following story.

Two Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships, “Kirisame” and “Yuudachi”, with Commander 7th Escort Division Captain Hiroshi Ito on board , arrived at the Port of Colombo today (19th April 2011) on a two-day goodwill visit. The ships were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy on their arrival. A special programme has been arranged by the Sri Lanka Navy to enhance the friendly relations between the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and Sri Lanka Navy during the ships’ stay in Sri Lanka.

Commander 7th Escort Division Captain Hiroshi Ito paid a courtesy call on Commander Western Naval Area Rear Admiral Damayantha Dharmasiriwardene at SLNS Rangalla. He was accompanied by Commanding Officer of “Kirisame” Commander Munekazu Mizutani, Commanding Officer of “Yuudachi” Commander Yoshinabu Hayashida and Chief of the Somalia Area Dispatched Investigation Team Commander Makoto Tatsumiya of the Japanese Coast Guard. A reception was held onboard “Yuudachi” in the afternoon and it was attended by senior Sri Lanka Navy officials.

Kirisame and Yuudachi are Murasami Class destroyers. Each is 151 meters in length with a displacement of 4550 tons and carries a complement of 180 personnel. The ships are heading home upon completion of an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. (Link)

Ten days later, the two ships had crossed the Bay of Bengal to arrive in Singapore, where China Defense Blog reports that the PLAN 7th Task Force was also in Singapore at the same time. 7th Task Force to also be returning from the Horn of Africa and appears to consist of two Type 054A frigates; visible in one of the pics is hull number 529, which is Zoushan. (8th Task Force left China on February 21st.)

No word on whether or not the MSDF and PLAN exchanged pleasantries. The PLAN Horn of Africa task force has been known to be friendly to the MSDF even when the rest of their government is not.

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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