Japanese training ships
The JS Kashima (foreground) and the JS Hatakaze Courtesy Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Two training vessels from the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force will visit San Diego next week on a friendship call that includes public tours and a concert in Balboa Park.

The ships and their 560 officers and crew are on a 149-day overseas training cruise that also includes stops in Pearl Harbor; Victoria, Canada; Manzanillo, Mexico; Callao, Peru; Valparaiso, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Cartagena, Colombia.

The training ship JS Kashima and the guided-missile destroyer JS Hatakaze are scheduled to dock at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, 1140 North Harbor Drive, from Thursday, Sept. 21, to Sunday, Sept. 24.

“The purpose of this voyage is to train new officers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, promote friendship with the countries of the ports of call, and promote understanding of Japan,” according to the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles.

The Kashima will be open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday, musicians from the Japanese training squadron and the U.S. Navy Band Southwest will play a concert from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.