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Japanese Destroyers in Amsterdam,  19 July 2008

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the trade relations between Japan and the Netherlands, Amsterdam harbor was visited by three Japanese warships. On Wednesday the 16th of July the TV-3508 JDS Kashima, TV-3516 JDS Asagiri and DD-158 JDS Umigiri arrived at the IJ-harbour along the Java-Island.


This year is also the 150th anniversary of the friendship and trade treaty between Japan and the Netherlands which was signed in 1858. These two memorable anniversaries are the main reason for the visit of these three vessels. Before their visit to Amsterdam they first visited Rouen, France. Sunday the 20th they set sail to Portsmouth, UK.


Onboard the DD-158 JDS Umigiri was a SH-60J of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force parked which made it well worth to visit the open day which was held on the 19th between 13.00h and 16.00h. Therefore Mike and I drove towards Amsterdam where we arrived at 14.30h. Despite the very bad weather and lots of rain showers we had a very good time onboard the destroyers.


The Asagiri-class destroyers where built between 1986 and 1989 and are in service with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force since 1988. Even though classed a destroyer by the JMSDF, due to its size it would be more appropriate to be classed as a frigate. This class of general purpose destroyer is mainly tasked with Anti Submarine Warfare and Anti Surface Warfare duties, like its predecessor Hatsuyuki-class destroyers.


Eight Asagiri-class destroyers where built, but the JDS Yamagiri and the JDS Asagiri have been converted into training vessels. The DD-158 JDS Umigiri which is also a Asagiri-class destroyer set sail for the first time on 11 September 1989 and entered service in 1991. It's home port is Kure, Hiroshima. Onboard the DD-158 JDS Umigiri was SH-60J with serial 8253 of the 22 Kokugun from Marine Base Omura. The JMSDF operates a total of 117 SH-60J/K's, most of them are license built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The first SH-60J was delivered in 1991.


A very big thank you goes out to the crew of the destroyers for their kindness and hospitality.





Copyright © 2008 by Rob Hendriks


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