In October, 2019, all the three components of the Japan Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF) made appearances in the South Pacific and were engaged in several activities to strengthen relations with the Pacific Island countries.
From October 8th to 11th, JS Kashima and Inazuma of the JMSDF Training Squadron made a port call to the Republic of Palau as JMSDF’s first port call to Palau in the Reiwa era.
And overlapping the visit by JMSDF ships, a JASDF U-4 unit made U-4’s first-time visit to Palau from 9th to 11th, which was followed by also U-4’s first-time visit to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) from 11th to 13th. The U-4 accompanied JASDF Major General Imaki, Vice Commander of the Air Support Command and JGSDF Colonel Ozawa aboard.
On October 9th, the JGSDF and JASDF personnel aboard the U-4 paid a courtesy call to Vice President Oilouch of Palau together with JMSDF Rear Admiral Kajimoto, Commander of the Training Squadron. On the same day, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, and members of all the three components of the JSDF participated. There, the JMSDF Training Squadron Band performed a concert.
On October 10th, the members of all the three components of the JSDF Ground, Maritime, and Air paid a visit to the Peleliu Island which became the site of a fierce battle during World War II. There, they offered flowers and prayers to the war dead at the Monument of the War Dead in the Western Pacific.
On October 11th, the JMSDF Training Squadron and JASDF U-4 completed their stay in Palau, the former departing for Guam and the latter departing for FSM as their next destination.
In FSM, the JASDF presented three wheel chairs they carried aboard U-4 from Japan at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to FSM at a handover ceremony on the evening of the 11th.
Credit: Japanese Ministry of Defence