SHIMODA, Japan (May 23, 2017) – The forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) departed Shimoda, Japan after a port visit, May 18-22, during the city’s Black Ship Festival.
The Yokosuka-based destroyer visited Shimoda for the 78th annual Black Ship Festival, commemorating the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and his ‘Black Ships’ in July 1853, and the signing of the Japan-American Treaty of Trade and Amity on June 17, 1854. The events opened Japan’s borders to trade and fostered relations between the countries.
“The citizens of Shimoda welcomed the crew of the Mustin with open arms,” said Cmdr. Warren Smith, commanding officer of Mustin.
“It was an honor to have Mustin and her crew representing the U.S. Navy. From the parades, to the different sporting events, to the beautiful ceremonies, we could not be more thankful for their generous hospitality.”
Mustin Sailors represented the U.S. Navy during the three-day festival by volunteering, attending ceremonies, participating in various games, and enjoying the festival themselves.
The Sailors visited six Japanese elementary schools to meet local schoolchildren.
“You could see their eyes glow when they asked a question”, said Chief Personnel Specialist Alberto Martinez. “It was awesome getting involved with the kids, learning their culture.”
Martinez marched in Saturday’s parade and said it was an uplifting experience to see the Japanese nationals waving American flags.
The city of Shimoda hosts the annual event which draws tourists from all over Japan in mid-May.
USS Mustin is forward-deployed to Japan as part of Destroyer Squadron 15, and routinely operates throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific to support regional security and stability. The U.S. Navy has been present the Indo-Asia-Pacific region for more than 160 years.