Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to United States Navy only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as part of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Fleet Review October 18. Prime Minister Abe’s visit to USS Ronald Reagan was the first for an in-service Japanese Prime Minister to set foot on an American aircraft carrier at sea.
“Today’s historic event displays the strong bond and alliance we have with Japan,” Battle Force 7th Fleet commander Rear Admiral John Alexander said.
The US Navy said Vice Admiral Nora Tyson, commander, US 3rd Fleet, welcomed the prime minister and other Japanese dignitaries to include the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Taro Aso, Japanese Minister of Defense, Mr. Gen Nakatani, and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) equivalent of Japan, Chief of Staff, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Adm. Tomohisa Takei upon their arrival.
“Prime Minister Abe visiting Ronald Reagan is proof of how close our two nations have become. It’s only been about 70 years since our nations were enemies, but now we are close allies,” USS Ronald Reagan sailor Seaman Rachel Jones said. “It’s also significant that America’s flagship, Ronald Reagan, is participating in the Japanese pass and review.”
“Thank you for allowing me to visit this magnificent ship,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. “I look forward to our continued partnership throughout the years.”