Naval forces from Standing NATO Maritime Group One conducted a passing exercise with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron in the Baltic Sea.
NATO ships sailed alongside cadet training vessel JS Kashima and destroyer JS Makinami for the drills according to a press release. Japan is NATO’s longest-standing partner from outside Europe, and we work together on a range of issues, from security in Afghanistan to nuclear non-proliferation, maritime and cyber security.
“Even though Japan and most NATO nations are geographically far apart, we are connected by the sea,” said Commander of SNMG1, Commodore Carsten Fjord-Larsen.
“We also share a strong interest in always making the most of training opportunities with partner nations when meeting up at sea. And I’m proud to say that, this is exactly what we have been doing today.”
NATO and Japanese units have trained together before, most recently when the JMSDF Training Squadron was off of Spain earlier this month and they sailed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ship HMCS Ville de Québec.
NATO units often utilise an opportunity of close proximity to develop a better understanding of each other’s procedures as well as seize the opportunity to learn from one another.
“Together with selected members from my staff, I had the great honor to visit JS Kashima and enjoyed the possibility to exchange views on the world seen from the sea with the Commander of the Japanese Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Hiroyuki Izumi” said Commodore Fjord-Larsen.
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Nice picture of an absalon class – surely the RN can do with these or their sister huitfeldt.

Type 31 based on these is a no brainier really, but unlikely now

Never mind – they are still a classy ship in my books

Nigel Collins

Impressive looking Ship indeed!


This type of collaboration has to strengthen in the future. With increased pressure in the South China Seas, the West and its allies need to present a unified front and demonstrate that ‘might,’ will not go unchecked. Individual Western countries cannot match the new growing superpowers in terms of the numbers of naval vessels, but collectively, we can come very close. The US alone can not be expected to face off these nations without the support of its allies. Recent naval events must come as a warning of how a military imbalance can lead to compromise.

Mr Bell

Good post Maurice- a sound assessment of the current geopolitical situation. The Royal Navy needs to be massively upgraded and increased in size. We have to be able to support our allies in the south china sea and maintain freedom of the seas- so Australia, New Zealand and Japan. I am also more worried about a resurgent Russia concentrating on niche areas to strive to obtain a military advantage over NATO’s European countries in key areas. Submarine force- the Russians are proliferating their submarine hull numbers especially new nuclear attack and conventionally powered improved kilo class. Their Oscar 2 class… Read more »


My main concern Mr Bell, is the possible threat to international waters and the serious ramifications that would have on free trade routes. No court on the globe could legislate against a navy instructed to physically obstruct legitimate passage, other than an opposing naval presence and in strength. What is necessary is a major review of the UK defence spending in order to ascertain what are the real priorities in the next 10/20 years, in light of the growing far eastern threat. During the last ten years or so, the emphasis was on land warfare and associated equipment, however, to… Read more »

Oscar Zulu

In the spirit of keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer, the PLAN has sent a frigate to participate in Exercise Kakadu 2018 with the RAN.

The biannual exercise is taking place both ashore and at sea off the coast of Darwin. This year’s exercise involves 27 nations and more than 3000 personnel which represents the largest military commitment to the exercise since it began in 1993.

The Huangshan is one of China’s new generation Type 054A frigates of which the PLAN already has 26 in service with more on the slipways.


What happened to the excersise we were supposed to be doing with them that got cancelled because of bad weather? Is it being rescheduled or shelved altogether?

Levi Goldsteinberg

Shelved because HMS Albion had other places to be. She just did a FONOPs in the SCS and now I believe she’d berthed in Singapore


Great ship with plenty of ‘presence’ and we could have had five of those or close, makes me want to cry. Using the IVH as the base design for T31 was a brilliant bit of innovation by Babcock and thinking out of the box, and if we had ported over most of the combat systems from the T23’s, Artisan, 4.5 gun, CAMM and Harpoon then I’m sure we should have been able to build them for £250 million. Certainly Babcock seemed confident they could , its what the Danes did after all ? Don’t get me wrong the new look… Read more »