June 14, 2019 – The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest destroyer is making a port call in southern Vietnam, amid China’s growing maritime presence in the region.
The Izumo arrived at the strategically important Cam Ranh Bay on Friday following joint drills with the USS Ronald Reagan in the South China Sea. Vietnamese navy and local government officials welcomed Japanese officers.
JMSDF Escort Flotilla 1 Commander Rear Admiral Hiroshi Egawa said, “Vietnam is a very important partner for Japan in ensuring the region’s peace and stability … especially for maintaining and strengthening maritime order.”
In line with new defense program guidelines drawn up last December, the Izumo will be refitted to act as an aircraft carrier. This is the second time the 250-meter-long destroyer has paid a call to the bay.
Its first visit intended to deepen ties came in 2017.
Izumo is scheduled to leave port on Monday.