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MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Two destroyers of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force DD-127 Isoyuki and DD-123 Shirayuki arrived on an official visit in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, chief press officer of the Western Military District Oleg Kochetkov told Itar-Tass.
“This is the first visit of the Japanese warships to the banks of the Neva River, only the Japanese Navy training ship Kashima called at St. Petersburg in 2005,” he noted. “Then her visit was timed to coincide with the celebrations on the 150th anniversary of the expedition of Admiral Putyanin that resulted in the establishment of interstate relations between Russia and Japan,” he said.
The Japanese destroyers moored at the Angliyskaya Embankment of the Russian northern capital. Their unofficial visit will last until August 4. During the visit the Japanese naval sailors, who arrived in St. Petersburg at the invitation of the Command of the Russian Navy, will lay wreaths to the Memorial at the Piskarevo Cemetery, will take a tour of the cruiser Aurora, which is a legendary warship of the Battle of Tsushima, and will go on a sightseeing tour of the city. The advanced corvette Soobrazitelny of the Baltic Fleet will perform an honorary mission of the host ship, her crew will accompany the Japanese guests on excursions and will familiarize them with the traditions of the Russian fleet.
The Japanese naval sailors will also visit the Admiral Kuznetsov Naval Academy, where the professors of the academy will show to them organizational patterns of the training of Russian officers. Meanwhile, Japanese and Russian naval sailors will hold a warm-up football match and will have a traditional ‘exchange of the state cabins’, at which the Japanese servicemen will learn about the peculiarities of the military service and the daily life in the Russian Navy, and the Soobrazitelny crew will become the guests onboard a Japanese destroyer.