Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) visited Hawaii again this year to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise with 21 other countries. The Japanese forces were represented with three ships and a squadron of EP-3 anti-submarine patrol aircraft. Members of Japan-America Society of Hawaii were given a rare opportunity to tour the command ship, JS Shirane. Commissioned in March 1980, JS Shirane is the largest DDH (Helicopter-carrying destroyer) in the JMSDF. Primarily for anti-submarine warfare, the ship carries two SH-60 helicopters as well as rocket launchers, torpedoes, 5-inch rapid fire guns, and medium and close-in anti-aircraft weapons. Twenty-three JASH members, guests, and family members were given a thorough tour of the ship. JDS Myoko, an AEGIS air defense and anti-missile defense ship was moored alongside and its crew welcomed the JASH visitors for a tour of its awesome capabilities.
JASH would like to thank the Japanese liaison officers at U.S. Pacific Fleet who arranged this tour, and the Captain and crew of JS Shirane and JDS Myoko for this precious opportunity.