Two Japanese ships have departed Darwin following a bilateral exercise with the Royal Australian Navy.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier JS Kaga and destroyer JS Murasame have set sail from Darwin, farewelled by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMA Ships Maitland and Maryborough.
The Japanese vessels participated in a number of regional military exercises, including Exercises Talisman Sabre, Pacific Vanguard, ARC-21 and La Perouse.
The deployment culminated with Exercise Malabar, in which the ships training alongside Australia’s Armidale Class patrol boats.
The crew of HMAS Maitland engaged in officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres with Kaga, in a bid to bolster professional ship handling and close-in manoeuvring capability between the 57-metre-long patrol boat and the 248-metre-long helicopter carrier.
The vessels also conducted an exchange of gifts via seaboat transfer.
This was followed by a ceremonial pass, with Commanding Officer Maitland Lieutenant Commander Julia Griffin thanking Kaga in Japanese.
HMAS Maitland later rendezvoused with Murasame and conducted a ceremonial pass, with both vessels exchanging waves and final farewells.