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Japan’s largest warship docks at Cam Ranh Port, starting Vietnam visit

Japan’s largest warship docks at Cam Ranh Port, starting Vietnam visit

Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 12:37 GMT+7
Japan’s largest warship docks at Cam Ranh Port, starting Vietnam visit
This image shows the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest destroyer, Izumo, docked at Cam Ranh Port on Vietnam’s central coast on June 20, 2023 for a four-day visit. Photo: Jiji Press

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest destroyer, Izumo, arrived at Cam Ranh Port on Vietnam’s central coast on Tuesday morning, starting a four-day visit to the Southeast Asian country, Japan’s NHK public television reported the same day.

The Izumo, accompanied by destroyer Samidare, is scheduled to stay at the port, in Cam Ranh Bay of Khanh Hoa Province, until Friday. 

On board the destroyers is a delegation of 559 officers and sailors, led by Rear Admiral Nishiyama Takahiro, commander of the Izumo, according to the Vietnam People’s Army newspaper.

At a welcome ceremony hosted by Senior Captain Nguyen Thai Hoc, deputy chief of staff of Vietnam’s Naval Region 4, Takahiro said that the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force wishes to strengthen regular exchanges with the Vietnamese Navy and boost cooperative relations so that they can coordinate when necessary.

The East Vietnam Sea also plays a crucial role for Japan, the rear admiral stated.

A year has passed since the helicopter destroyer Izumo docked at the Cam Ranh Port for the first time in June 2019.

The destroyer has been conducting overseas deployments for six years as part of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The first visit by the Izumo took place as one of various activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan, marking a positive development in the bilateral defense ties, according to the aforementioned newspaper. 

As planned, during their stay in Khanh Hoa, the warships' commanders will pay a courtesy call to the Naval Region 4 Command as well as the province’s administration office. 

They will also visit the Vietnamese Naval Academy and the ships’ crew members and their peers from the Naval Region 4 Command will have sport exchanges.

The Japanese side will invite Vietnamese naval officers to make a tour of the ships and entertain them with a party on board, the newspaper said.

Before visiting Vietnam, the Izumo took part in a joint exercise in the East Vietnam Sea with U.S. naval ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, from June 10 to 14, according to NHK.

With a length of 248 meters, the Izumo has a full displacement of 27,000 metric tons and can accommodate up to 970 people, including the crew and soldiers, and 14 helicopters.

It is now one of the two largest warships in Japan, along with the helicopter destroyer Kaga.

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Vinh Tho - Binh An / Tuoi Tre News

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