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Guardian Arrives in Shimonoseki

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070212-09
Release Date: 2/12/2007 1:44:00 PM

By Lt j.g. Steve Peterson, USS Guardian Public Affairs

SHIMONOSEKI, Japan (NNS) -- USS Guardian (MCM 5) arrived in Shimonoseki, Japan, on Feb. 8 for a scheduled port visit.

While in Shimonoseki, the ship’s approximately 85 crewmembers had the chance to participate in friendship-building and goodwill-generating activities and cultural exchanges with the people of the city.

Immediately upon mooring, the entire crew of Guardian was treated to a welcome ceremony on the pier in honor of the ship’s visit. The mayor of Shimonoseki City, Mr. Kiyoshi Ejima, was on hand along with a small contingent of his staff and numerous local residents.

“Shimonoseki is closely linked to the sea, as we are surrounded by it on three sides,” said Ejima. “We are a city that thrives on the shipping industry. During World War II, our small seaside city was surrounded by a large amount of mines, but due to a joint mine-clearance effort, Shimonoseki is now a thriving multinational port. So, this is a special day for us to have a U.S. Navy minesweeper.”

Ejima presented Lt. Cmdr. Steven H. DeMoss, commanding officer of Guardian, with an elegant bouquet of flowers as a token of the gratitude of the city. “On behalf of the people of Shimonoseki, I thank you for your efforts,” said Ejima.

DeMoss followed with words of thanks and appreciation extended to Ejima and all of the citizens of Shimoneski.

“My crew and I are very excited to be in Shimonoseki, a city with such rich Japanese heritage,” said DeMoss. “We are excited to see your beautiful city and to try the famous Shimonoseki seafood, but we are also here to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to the unique relationship our maritime nations have.”

The outpouring of public support for Guardian was sincerely appreciated by the crew.

“What a great surprise to see so many people on the pier, anxious for our arrival,” said Mineman 3rd Class Bradley Derum. “Seeing the support of the people of Shimonoseki makes me glad that Japan is my forward-deployed home.”

Shimonoseki was founded in 1889 and is most famously known for fugu, or Japanese blowfish. The city is informally known as the blowfish capital of the world. The area is the location of the largest catch of these fish along the Sea of Japan each year. Shimonoseki also is the location of Shunpanro Hall, where in 1895 the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed to officially end the Sino-Japanese War.

During their stay, Guardian Sailors also had the opportunity to visit important historical sites and participate in numerous recreational activities available in the Shimonoseki area. The mayor also generously presented the crew with free passes to the Kaikyokan Aquarium.

Guardian is a mine countermeasures ship forward-deployed to Sasebo. Guardian and USS Patriot (MCM 7) serve under Task Force 76, which serves as the 7th Fleet’s mine countermeasures arm in forward-deployed operations.

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