HMS Sutherland has conducted a series of military exercises with units from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and, say the MoD, built upon the continued efforts by the UK government to deepen the military relationship with Japan.

The Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Canale remarked:

“Much work has been put into making these exercises nothing short of a success. This was an excellent opportunity to work alongside our Japanese colleagues and prove our interoperability in a series of demanding exercises.

We have learned much from each other and look forward to working together again in the future.”

According to a Royal Navy release, HMS Sutherland’s presence in the waters around Japan underlines the agreement made by Prime Ministers Abe and May at the signing of the Declaration on Defence and Security Cooperation in 2017.

Sutherland’s Principal Warfare Officer, Lieutenant Commander Matt Millyard said:

“The JMSDF is a highly proficient and professional force. My two days on board certainly demonstrated the many similarities in our approach to tactical exercises. Having now established a good working rapport with the JMSDF, I hope that follow-on units can build on the excellent relationship we have enjoyed during this invaluable period of training.”

Wildcat helicopter Flight Observer Lieutenant Max Cosby RN explained:

“This bilateral exercise has provided a good opportunity on many levels, not least with respect to operating the Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopter in the region for the first time ever. In particular we gained valuable experience in a complex anti-submarine exercise with Japanese maritime patrol aircraft ahead of the UK’s reacquisition of this capability.”

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There’s a JMSDF ship in at Pearl Harbor (I just arrived this afternoon for a few days) Looks like a frigate or their smaller class of DD hard to tell flying in over the base due to vis. A LOT of aircraft parking at Hickam Field. Heck of a time to visit though – earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, record rain, flash flooding…. All we need is a biblical invasion of locust and I’d be looking for the Four Horsemen to ride in!





Stay safe!

David E Flandry

Japan and the UK are natural allies. Two medium powers on opposite sides of the world with significant interests in common, and common threats.


Also, neither country is really culturally compatible with their mainland counterparts… They stand alone in that respect.



I can’t speak about Japan but the UK shares a huge western continental culture with Europe.


“Britain is not Europe” is a quote often used and in my experience – it rings true. With the exception of the Netherlands, the continental cultures are very different from that in the UK. U.S.culture is still closer even though we are experiencing rapid demographic shifts similar to Europe’s IMO.