By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marissa Valentine, USS Shiloh Public Affairs
HAKODATE, Japan – Sailors from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and embarked Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 51 arrived in Hakodate, Japan May 16 to join the city in celebrating the 160th Anniversary of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s first arrival to the city 1854.
A ceremony coordinated by Hakodate America-Japan Society, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Self-Defense Force Friendship Association welcomed the ship.
“This port visit represents the strong alliance between the U.S. and Japan, and the goodwill and friendship forged by Commodore Perry 160 years ago,” said Shiloh’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Kurush F. Morris.
The visit provided Sailors the opportunity to develop a greater appreciation of the Japanese culture as well as interaction with the local people.
Sailors also participated in the Goryokaku 150th Anniversary commemorative parade, played basketball game with JMSDF, and toured the JMSDF destroyer JS Suzunami (DD 114). Additionally, Shiloh leadership participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Hakodate Foreign Cemetery in commemoration of two Sailors from Perry’s ship.
Perry visited the cities of Shimoda and Hakodate, Japan in 1854, which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Amity opening Japan to trade with the western world after centuries of seclusion. The two cities have been celebrating this achievement with U.S. Navy ships and Sailors for 75 years.