SENDAI, Japan (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) arrived in Sendai, Japan, July 23 for a scheduled port visit.
The visit is a continuation of U.S. – Japan joint port calls being conducted throughout the year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. – Japan Mutual Security Treaty. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships, JS Kongo (DDG 117) and JS Suzunami (DDG 114) are also participating in the port call.
Russell was welcomed to Sendai's Takamatsu Pier in a ceremony hosted by the Japan-America Society. During the ceremony JMSDF Capt. Hidetoshi Iwasaki, commander, Escort Division 5, thanked the citizens of Sendai and stressed the importance of the U.S. – Japan Security Treaty.
"With the U.S. – Japan Security Treaty framework as the cornerstone of our two nations' collaborative relationship," said Iwasaki, "I recognize that this close and enduring relationship between our countries plays a vital role in maintaining peace not only for our nation, but also for the peace and stability of the region surrounding Japan."
Cmdr. Rodney Patton, Russell's commanding officer, said the visit is a demonstration of the United States' commitment to Japan and the entire East Asia region.
"The strong relationship between our two nations has been the foundation that has led to security, stability and prosperity, not only for our nations, but for the larger region," said Patton. "We look forward to building upon the mutual trust, respect, cooperation and capabilities that our nations have developed over the past 50 years. Our being here today is a continuation of this strong friendship."
While in port, Russell will host tours of the ship for local officials, as well as the visiting Japanese Sailors and the general public. The crew will have the opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine and participate in community service projects.
Russell is home ported in Hawaii and is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.