A WELCOMING reception was held at the JS Izumo (DDH-183), Japan’s largest warship, at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang.
Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) naval personnel lined the path leading to the ship as they saluted the arriving guests.
Receiving the guests were Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa and the warship’s commander Rear Admiral Hiroshi Egawa.
The chief guest was Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong, who was joined by Attorney General Tommy Thomas.
Also on board were members of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) who were led by Director of Administration Capt M. Saravanan Muthusamy.
The JS Izumo had sailed into the port on May 26 together with another warship, the JS Murasame (DD-101), docking at the cruise centre for four days.
The JS Izumo weighs 19,980 tonnes and is 248m long, while the JS Murasame weighs 4,550 tonnes and is 151m long.
The two ships are operated by about 600 crew members and officers.
In his speech, Miyagawa said the JS Izumo was so huge that standing on it, he felt like a “small fish swallowed by a whale”.
He said he was proud of the visit of both warships, adding that this showed the close relations between Japan and Malaysia.
Liew was later invited on stage to receive a memento from Rear Admiral Egawa.
The national anthems of Japan and Malaysia were played before the guests helped themselves to a buffet spread.
Rear Admiral Egawa said Japan was keen to enhance cooperation between Indo-Pacific countries on safety, crime prevention and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
During the course of the visit, JMSDF held several meetings with RMN’s high-ranking officials to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between both sides.