SAN DIEGO (Oct. 13, 2017) – Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), is presented with a Japanese Kinomo during a meeting with Norio Tomonaga, Mayor of Sasebo, Japan, and his delegation to discuss current and future relationships between the Navy and the City of Sasebo. This visit commemorates the 35th anniversary of the sister port relationship agreement started in August of 1982 between the Port of San Diego and the Port of Sasebo as a continuing effort to develop international relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Lenny LaCrosse/Released)
Naval Surface Force Welcomes Japanese Mayor to San Diego

SAN DIEGO (NNS) – Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) hosted a distinguished delegation from San Diego’s sister port of Sasebo, Japan on Friday, October 13, the Navy’s 242nd birthday.

Among the delegation was Sasebo’s Mayor, Norio Tomonaga. He was joined by three Sasebo Assembly members, and one Municipal member.

“It is a great honor to meet with and welcome Mayor Tomonaga and the Sasebo delegation to San Diego,” said Rowden. “The city of Sasebo and the U.S. Navy have a long and strong partnership. Sasebo is a key part of the Navy’s forward deployed presence in the Western Pacific.”

Earlier this month, Rowden visited Sasebo to talk with the Sailors that are assigned to Fleet Activities Sasebo. In total, eight amphibious and mine countermeasure ships are forward deployed to Sasebo. The city also hosts other various Navy commands that provide maintenance, logistic and administrative support to these ships. Rowden and the Sasebo delegation discussed the role and importance of Sasebo for the U.S. Navy, and future partnership possibilities with Sasebo in the years ahead.

Rowden concluded the visit when he surprised Tomonaga with his own personal tie to the city of Sasebo - a picture of his parents at their wedding ceremony in Sasebo in 1956 while his father was stationed there.

“Aside from the long relationship between the city and our Navy, I have a very personal connection to Sasebo.” Rowden mentioned. “My parents were married in Sasebo 61 years ago.”

This visit also coincided with the 35th anniversary of the sister port relationship that began in August of 1982. In a continuing effort to develop international relationships, the Port of San Diego and the Port of Sasebo signed a sister port agreement. The main goal of the agreement was and still is to promote the importance of international trade, while allowing both ports to collaborate in expanding foreign trade, promoting industrial production development, developing tourism trade, and protecting the environment.

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