Japan’s defense minister visits USS Ronald Reagan

By USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

160823-N-IN729-006 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 23, 2016) Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada passes through sideboys as she visits the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). While on board, the defense minister and her accompanying group received a tour and brief about the mission of the forward-deployed naval forces. Ronald Reagan is forward deployed to Japan in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Mcfarlane/Released)

160823-N-IN729-006 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 23, 2016) Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada passes through sideboys as she visits the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). While on board, the defense minister and her accompanying group received a tour and brief about the mission of the forward-deployed naval forces. Ronald Reagan is forward deployed to Japan in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Mcfarlane/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan – Japan’s defense minister, the Japan Maritime Staff Office chief of staff, the Self Defense Fleet commander in chief, and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Yokosuka District commander visited the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) at its forward-operating port at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka, Aug. 23.

Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada, Adm. Tomohisa Takei, Vice Adm. Yasuhiro Shigeoka and Vice Adm. Tetsuro Doshita were welcomed aboard by the Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the U.S. 7th Fleet commander, Rear Adm. Matthew Carter, the U.S. Naval Forces Japan commander, Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Task Force 70, and Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer.

“It was an honor to meet Defense Minister Inada and discuss how strong and important the relationship is between U.S. 7th Fleet and JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force),” said Aucoin. “This relationship is key to security and stability, not only for the defense of Japan, but also for the region, and I look forward to continuing to grow our interoperability to increase our readiness and effectiveness.”

The visit included an office call, briefing, and tour aboard America’s Flagship.

160823-N-DE001-048 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 23, 2016) Japanese Minister of Defense, Tomomi Inada, and her accompanying group, receive a brief about the mission of forward-deployed naval forces during a tour of the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan is forward deployed to Japan in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adrienne Powers/ Released)

160823-N-DE001-048 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Aug. 23, 2016) Japanese Minister of Defense, Tomomi Inada, and her accompanying group, receive a brief about the mission of forward-deployed naval forces during a tour of the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adrienne Powers/ Released)

“We are very pleased that Minister Inada made Fleet Activities Yokosuka and USS Ronald Reagan her first visit to U.S. forces in Japan as defense minister,” said Carter. “She understands the vital role the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the U.S. Navy play in providing security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, and we look forward to working with her over the next couple of years.”

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group recently returned from 53 days of strike group operations in the western Pacific, including the waters south of Japan, the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, to improve combat readiness, develop cohesion as a strike group and engage with partners in the region.

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