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Japanese military ships heading for visit to Russia

October 13, 9:43 UTC+3 TOKYO

Last autumn, the Japanese Navy resumed contacts with Russian colleagues

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

TOKYO, October 13. /TASS/. The Japanese Navy’s training group comprising a guided missile destroyer and a training ship is set to arrive in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok from the US port of Anchorage in Alaska on Saturday, a spokesman for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Staff Office, Atsushi Umehara, said.

"Earlier, the group was scheduled to arrive in Vladivostok on October 15, but now this will happen a day earlier," he said. The destroyer Harusame and the training ship Kashima will take part in the voyage. "They will form a training group, which crews will mainly include cadets and young sailors, who will be candidates for command positions in future," Umehara said.

Nearly 190 people will take part in the voyage. Earlier, the group visited many ports in the countries of Latin America, the United States and Canada.

Upon the ships’ arrival in Vladivostok, a welcoming ceremony and a briefing will take place. The ships will stay there until October 18. The Japanese vessels will be open for the general public.

Last autumn, the Japanese Navy resumed contacts with Russian colleagues, after a pause due to Tokyo’s joining the anti-Russian sanctions amid the Ukrainian crisis.

In October 2016, the Japanese destroyer Hamagiri and Russian Pacific Fleet ships held a joint exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf near Vladivostok. The ships’ crews practiced cohesion during search and rescue operations and improved their skills in fighting pirate activities.

Exercises of the type have taken place since 1998 alternately in Russia and Japan.

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