By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Two Japanese Naval Vessels visited Port Moresby over the weekend as part of the continued strong bilateral relationships between the two countries. Both vessels, the JS Ise, a Hyuga-Class Helicopter destroyer that was built in 2011, and JS Kunisaki, an Osumi Class warship, were in Australia for a series of war games. Their visit into the country has provided an insight into the Japanese culture for those who had the opportunity to visit the naval vessels.
The Japanese Navy personnel were given a tour of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) vessel, HMPNGS Ted Diro (P401), PNGs Guardian-Class Patrol Boat.
Both warships sailed into Papua New Guinea shores on August 2nd for a three-day visit in Port Moresby. It was the first time for almost all crew members and commanding officers on-board both vessels to visit PNG. Upon arrival, PNGDF Commander, Major Gilbert Toropo, was given a guard of honour before taken on board both vessels for a tour. The tour was extended to defence attachés representing New Zealand and other countries based in Port Moresby.
The JS Kunisaki which docked at Fairfax harbour brought with it unique military capabilities. These include war tankers, cranes, specialised boats known as Landing Craft Air Cushion which are capable of transporting two trucks and Chinook helicopters. The second warship, JS Ise was built by Ihi Marine United and has served the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force since 2011. It is a helicopter destroyer and is ten stories high.
The Japanese Defence Force is one of the powerful militaries in the World. For PNG, bilateral arrangements between the two countries have created a strong foundation, also for the PNGDF Military Band. In 2018, the Japanese government assisted members of the PNGDF Military band with musical equipment and training and has continued to provide that support since.
The PNGDF Military band performed during the reception hosted by the Chief of Staff Mine Warfare Force, Captain Hiroshima Watanabe on board JS Ise.
As part of the exchange of knowledge, Japanese airmen, seamen and soldiers visited PNGDF’s Guardian Class Patrol Boat HMPNGS Ted Diro. Though the tour on HMPNGS Ted Diro was short, it was one experience the visitors had in terms of seeing the Maritime capabilities of PNGDF, something they can relate to.