By Ensign Joseph London, USS Shiloh Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Crewmembers from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) met with representatives from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) JS Yuugiri (DD 153) to exchange holiday gifts, Dec. 28.
During the meeting, each party presented a traditional gift from their respective countries in celebration of the holidays and the New Year.
Cmdr. Yoshihiro Yamashita, commanding officer of Yuugiri, along with several members of his crew, presented a pair of Kadomatsu, traditional Japanese New Year decorations made of pine branches and bamboo. The Kadomatsu are intended to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming New Year.
In return, Capt. Adam Aycock, Shiloh’s commanding officer, and representatives from Shiloh presented a traditional American Holiday wreath to Yamashita and his crew.
Following the exchange, guests toured the ship, visiting spaces such as the bridge and various damage control spaces. The guests were served an American-style lunch of burgers, French fries, and fresh-baked cookies prepared by the ship’s Culinary Specialists.
Lt. Ryota Yokokawa, Navigation Officer of Yuugiri, the history behind the JMSDF ship’s name. Yuugiri means “fog” in the Japanese language.
Ensign Joseph London, from Cincinnati, Ohio, explained to the crew members of Yuugiri the Battle of Shiloh and the Civil War heritage that is the cruiser’s namesake.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the crews of Shiloh and Yuugiri exchanged final goodbyes along with command ball caps and coins.
Shiloh and Yuugiri participate in a variety of joint activities throughout the year, which promote professional and cultural relations between the United States Navy and JMSDF.