Japan hosts future S. Korean military officers weeks after flap over ‘rising sun’ flag
SASABO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Future South Korean military officers checked out the USS Wasp and its homeport of Sasebo, Japan, Tuesday during a tour organized by the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
The visit by 160 midshipmen and cadets from the Republic of Korea Army, Navy and Air Force comes just weeks after Japan pulled out of an international fleet review hosted by South Korea over a flag dispute.
The group learned about the Wasp’s capabilities as they explored its flight deck and hangars. The 844-foot amphibious-assault ship — which can carry Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing stealth fighters — returned from deployment last week after providing humanitarian assistance to the Northern Mariana Islands as they recovered from damage wrought by last month’s Typhoon Mangkhut.
The South Korean cadets, who arrived on a pair of ROK Navy destroyers and a landing ship, will tour other vessels and facilities and meet the mayor of Sasebo this week, said Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force spokesman Cmdr. Masa Yokoyama.
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