For the second time in two years, the JMSDF training vessel JS Kashima (TV-3508) visited San Francisco this week. Tucked away on Pier 27 along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Kashima arrived Tuesday, June 21st and will be in San Francisco until Friday, June 24th. The ship was open to the public June 22nd, and Japan Security Watch went to visit.

Last year Kashima went on a round-the-world cruise, starting in Japan and ending in Qingdao, China. Unfortunately, that cruise was marred by a fraying of Japan-China relations, particularly the arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain and the resulting uproar in China. A request was made to the Chinese government by Defense Minister Kitazawa to continue with a port visit, but the Chinese told the JMSDF in so many words they were not welcome.

This year’s cruise consists of one vessel instead of last year’s three, and has been shortened from a round-the-world trip to circumnavigating North and South America. The three ship group that visited San Francisco last year was split in two this year, with Kashima visiting San Francisco while two other MSDF training ships, Mineyuki and Asagiri, are visit San Diego.

The 120 cadets of the Kashima are doing a variety of activities while in San Francisco, including tours of downtown San Francisco and a trip to Muir Moods National Monument in nearby Marin County. The cadet taiko drum team, “Shozui Taiko” put on a demonstration at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California followed by a mixer with people from the community. The demonstration was prefaced with remarks by Rear Admiral Umio Otsuka.

Pictures of Kashima here.

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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