Kyodo reports that the Japan will join the United States and United Kingdom in minesweeping exercises in October. The exercises, to be held off the coast of Bahrain, will be held October 15-30. The MSDF will send the minesweeper tender Uraga and minesweeper Tsushima, 180 sailors in all.
This will be the first time Japan has participated in the U.S. – U.K. exercises. The exercise was not named in the article, but it may be something like this exercise held in 2007.
The exercise is unique for two reasons. One, the MSDF is sending ships all the way to Bahrain, which is unusual. The MSDF maintains a pair of destroyers that operate out of Djibouti on the anti-piracy mission, but it’s rare for the MSDF to enter the Persian Gulf. Second, the MSDF does not often have the opportunity to train alongside the Royal Navy.
Historical note: both the Japanese naval service and the U.S. Navy consider the Royal Navy their “senior service”. The early Imperial Japanese Navy was modeled on the Royal Navy, and took so much inspiration from it that Admiral Togo at Tsushima paraphrased Nelson at Trafalgar with his message to the fleet.
More on the Uraga here.
More on Tsushima here.
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.
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