CEREMONIAL gunfire boomed across Portsmouth Harbour as three Japanese warships entered the city.
JDS Kashima, JDS Shirayuki, and JDS Isoyuki are part of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron.
They are visiting Portsmouth this week as part of a global deployment.
With a number of cadets embarked, they will visit the training establishments of HMS Sultan in Gosport and HMS Collingwood in Fareham.
Many of the ship’s officers will also go into the city to meet civic leaders.
Rear-Admiral Fumiyuki Kitagawa told The News: ‘Japan and Great Britain have a history going back hundreds of years.
‘The Royal Navy was the model for the foundation of the Japanese Navy so we are very pleased to be here.
‘One of our first priorities is to absorb a bit of history by going around HMS Victory and the capital, London.’
JDS Kashima led the three ships into the harbour this morning and fired a gun salute, which was returned by Fort Blockhouse in Gosport.
The Royal Marines Band of Portsmouth welcomed them on the jetty along with many senior naval officers.
Members of the public will be able to go on board one of the Japanese ships this week.
JDS Isoyuki will be open to visitors on Wednesday between 10am and 4pm.