| Achong Tanjong |
THREE Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) overseas training warships berth at Muara Commercial Port yesterday for a four-day goodwill visit to the Sultanate from February 16 to 19.
The defence ships – DD Matsuyuki, DD Yugiri, TV Shirayuki carried more than 600 JMSDF personnel onboard.
Upon arrival at the Muara Commercial Port, they were welcomed by personnel from the Royal Brunei Navy accompanied by the Navy band. Also present were Japan Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Noriko Iki, and officers from the Embassy of Japan.
According to a JMSDF officer, the three navy ships sailed straight from Japan to the Sultanate for the first time.
It was for a goodwill visit with the objective to enhance mutual cooperation between Royal Brunei Navy and JMSDF, developing closer relations and fostering bilateral ties between the two nations.
Yuji Shiono from the Embassy of Japan said, previous visits by the JMSDF to Brunei have been successful in enhancing mutual cooperation between both forces.
It is the crew’s intention to achieve a similar successful outcome from the current visit.
The Embassy of Japan also invited members of the public to pay a visit to the three training warships.
The ships will be open to the public from 9am to 5pm today.
Yesterday afternoon, a group of JMSDF personnel also visited Meragang Sixth Form Centre (PTEM)for a culture exchange programme with the students of PTEM.
They displayed some Japanese traditional games including teaching students how to make “origami”, and how to tie a rope.
Their visit to the school received encouraging responses not only from the students but also teachers.
Student Dyg Rabiah said, “We were honoured that the JMSDF selected our school as its stop over and showed us their skills and traditional games.
“Despite the short visit, we managed to learn some new things and ideas.
“We were happy for their visit to our school and they were very friendly.”
They were welcomed at the school by the teachers and students.
While in the country the personnel also took the opportunity to visit Brunei places of interest, which included a tour of the city arranged by Freme Travel Services.