Japanese destroyer to cast anchor in Vladivostok

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VLADIVOSTOK, June 3, (RIA Novosti, Anatoly Ilyukhov) - The destroyer Hiei of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force is to arrive on an unofficial visit in Vladivostok, the main base of Russia's Pacific Fleet, on June 6, the fleet told RIA Novosti today.

The fleet's spokesman said that the visit marking the 150th anniversary of Russian-Japanese state relations would take place under the flag of Rear Admiral Takanobu Sasaki, Commander, Escort Flotilla Four. The Hiei commanded by Captain Second Class Daisuke Goto will be hosted by the Russian cruiser Varyag (commanding officer Captain First Class Sergei Lipilin).

At the end of the visit, a joint search-and-rescue exercise will be held, in which Russia's Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ship, a guided-missile boat, one fixed-wing aircraft and one helicopter will be supervised by Rear Admiral Alexei Tuzov.

After three visits to Vladivostok and one to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, this is the fifth visit of Japanese naval ships to Russian Far Eastern ports since 1996.

The Pacific Fleet has paid five visits to Japan's Yokosuka, Sasebo, Kure and twice to Tokyo.

Joint exercises were held in six visits.

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