MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Two Japanese self-defense force ships have arrived in Russia’s Far Eastern port of Vladivostok on a visit. The welcome ceremony took place on the waterfront of the Pacific Fleet’s naval base, the Pacific Fleet’s spokesman Nikolai Voskresensky said.
"A group of Japan’s Self-Defense Force ships has arrived in Vladivostok on an unofficial visit," he said. "The destroyer Harusame and the training ship Kashima enjoyed a special welcome ceremony. Russia’s Rear Admiral Sergey Zhuga and Japan’s Rear Admiral Koji Manabe exchanged greetings," Voskresensky said.
The Japanese ships’ visit will last five days. The crews will be treated to an extensive cultural program and sports competitions with Pacific Fleet sailors. A variety of protocol events and joint meetings are due. Last time Japan’s Self Defense Force ships pulled into Vladivostok in 2014.
In the autumn of 2016 Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force resumed contacts with its Russian counterpart after a pause in relations that followed Tokyo’s decision to join sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. In October 2016, Japan’s destroyer The Hamagiri and Russian Pacific Fleet ships held a joint exercise in the Peter the Great Bay. They practiced search, rescue and anti-piracy operations. Such exercises have been held alternately in Russia and Japan since 1998.