Crowds get the chance to tour Japanese ship

BRASS The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Band performing in the Victory Arena. Picture: Sarah Standing (132052-3091)
BRASS The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Band performing in the Victory Arena. Picture: Sarah Standing (132052-3091)
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CROWDS flocked to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to take a tour around a stunning Japanese warship.

The sun beamed down on JDS Isoyuki and her crew yesterday as more than 2,000 visitors marvelled over her design and weaponry.

Allen Moseley, 46, went along with his wife Anne, 47, and their daughter Ceri, six.

The family, who are from Suffolk, were on holiday in the Portsmouth area.

Allen said: ‘It’s a superb-looking ship.

‘We didn’t know it was here until we got to the dockyard.

‘I know every country invites warships to come and stay, but this is the first time I’ve been on one.’

As previously reported in The News, JDS Isoyuki, JDS Kashima, JDS Shirayuki have visited Portsmouth this week as part of a global deployment.

The squadron’s embarked 40-strong Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force Band also performed in front of HMS Victory yesterday.

The ships, which are part of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron, were due to leave this morning.

Joanne Macdonald, 48, of Milton, Portsmouth, who was visiting with her son Alfie, 12, said: ‘It’s great we’ve been given the chance to come and have a look round. It looks amazing.

‘The crew seem like very friendly people.’

Misao Aoki, commanding officer of JDS Isoyuki, thanked everyone for turning out.

‘Portsmouth is very beautiful,’ he said.

‘Being here has given me great inspiration.

‘The people here are very welcoming.

‘Our naval history goes back to the 1860s.

‘The Imperial Japanese Navy learned a lot during its infancy stages from the Royal Navy, so it’s important to come back to Portsmouth. We would like the young officers to learn the current, ongoing relationship between the two navies.’

VIPs get a taste of Royal Navy training

TOP Japanese officials were invited to try out the training facilities offered by the Royal Navy in the area.

The VIPs, including the commanding officers of all three visiting ships, and the Japanese Ambassador, paid a visit to HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

Captain Keizo Kitagawa, the Japanese defence attaché, tried out one of the base’s new general-purpose machine gun simulators.

He said: ‘We all very much enjoyed the visit. We especially appreciate the enthusiasm and effort of everyone involved.’

A number of young officers from the Japanese ships visited HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan in Gosport yesterday.

They went up against their Royal Navy counterparts in a number of sporting activities.