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Steelpan welcome for Japanese sailors

By MIRANDA LA ROSE Tuesday, July 15 2014

click on pic to zoom in
SOUVENIR PHOTO: A sailor from the Japanese vessel 'Kashima' takes a photo of Private Jason Holder of the Defence Force Steel Orchestra who played to w...
SOUVENIR PHOTO: A sailor from the Japanese vessel 'Kashima' takes a photo of Private Jason Holder of the Defence Force Steel Orchestra who played to w...

THREE of Japanís Maritime Self-Defence Force training vessels, with a strength of 730 military personnel aboard, received a steelpan welcome as they docked yesterday at the Port of Port-of- Spain.

The vessels JS Kashima, JS Setoyuki and JS Asagiri and crews led by Rear Admiral Yussa will be in port until Thursday to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Japan.

The crew will also be celebrating Japan-Caricom Friendship Year being observed in 2014, and on departure on July, 17, they will head to Jamaica. The vessels came as part of a year-long programme of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Marcus Cobhan, press officer of the Japan Embassy in Port-of-Spain said.

Commander Jason Kelshall, Commander Michael Braithwaite, and Lieutenant Kirk Jean- Baptiste of the Coast Guard were on hand to welcome their counterparts at the Cruise Ship Complex, Port-of-Spain.

The senior members of the TT Coast Guard also exchanged gifts with Yussa and were given a tour of the JS Kashima. The Japanese presented the second-in-command of the TTDF Steel Orchestra with a sailorís coin, and gave a fan to each female member of the band. Male members of the band received fans on behalf of their spouses.

Having moored, military personnel from have largest of the vessels, JS Kashima came on land, tried their hands at the steelpans with the assistance of the members of the TTDF Steel Orchestra, and took photos.

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