The flagship of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF)- the JS Izumo and its crew, is now anchored off the coast of Port Moresby city for a four-day visit to the country, which will include dialogues with the Papua New Guinea Defense Force (PNGDF) and other activities.
PNGDF Navy Captain Peter Tupma, the Chief of Force Capability and Development Branch, in welcoming the JS Izumo to Papua New Guinea (PNG), said that the visit of the flagship shows the strong relationship between the two countries.
“The visit signifies that Papua New Guinea and Japan are more than just friends, we are partners. We collaborate closely on matters of critical importance and shape our partnership,” said Captain Tupma.
The Captain added that the PNG/ Japan relationship has a solid foundation for further development and growth.
“I am happy to state on behalf of the Chief of Defense Force (CDF) that our partnership and cooperation with the Japanese Ground Defense Force, has extended into civil engineering and we have engagement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Japan’s Ambassador to PNG H.E Nobuyuki Watanabe added that the partnership with PNG dates back to independence in 1975 and since then, the Japanese government has supported the development aspirations of PNG through JICA.
In military support, the Japanese government continues to support the 2022 launched Technical Training Program for PNG Military Engineers, and the support for the PNGDF band through training, the supply of instruments and the uniforms.
“Even though the visit to Papua New Guinea will be short with only four days, we hope it will provide great opportunity to deeper exchange with the local government and military officials during the visit,” said the Japanese Ambassador.
“I also hope that the crew members will take this opportunity to enjoy and have first-hand experience of the beautiful and fascinating culture of Papua New Guinea.”
The JS Izumo is a helicopter carrier ship and sailed out of Japan and into the pacific on the 31st of May. The Izumo is the largest ship in the JMSDF fleet and after sailing for over a month, it finally reached PNG today.
Meanwhile, amongst the activities the crew of the JS Izumo will be engaged in whilst here, includes a memorial service to be hosted on Sunday 09th July for all who were lost during conflicts. The event will be held at the Ela Beach Memorial Park.