August 22, 2018 – Yesterday, Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) participated in a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force training squadron that is currently sailing in the Baltic Sea. SNMG1 spent the day with JMSDF cadet training vessel JS Kashima and the destroyer JS Makinami.
Japan is one of a number of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area with which NATO is developing relations. These partners are often referred to as “partners across the globe.” NATO and Japan are strengthening relations to address shared security challenges, building on dialogue and cooperation that has been developing since initial contacts in the early 1990s.
“Even though Japan and most NATO nations are geographically far apart, we are connected by the sea,” said Commander of SNMG1, Commodore Carsten Fjord-Larsen. “We also share a strong interest in always making the most of training opportunities with partner nations when meeting up at sea. And I’m proud to say that, this is exactly what we have been doing today.”
NATO and Japanese units have trained together before, most recently when the JMSDF Training Squadron was off of Spain earlier this month and they sailed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ship HMCS Ville de Québec. NATO units often utilize an opportunity of close proximity to develop a better understanding of each other’s procedures as well as seize the opportunity to learn from one another.
“Together with selected members from my staff, I had the great honor to visit JS Kashima and enjoyed the possibility to exchange views on the world seen from the sea with the Commander of the Japanese Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Hiroyuki Izumi.” Said Commodore Fjord-Larsen.
NATO routinely undertakes actions and activities in the maritime domain with our partners. All NATO activities including those conducted with partners are carried out in a manner that displays and promotes Alliance values. We welcome any opportunities to cooperate with Japan as partnerships are critical to the success of the NATO alliance and ensure we are stronger together.