Japan's Defense Ministry canceled a port call at Busan by the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, pictured here during an exercise with the U.S. Navy on June 15, 2017, due to a dispute with South Korea.  NATHAN BURKE/U.S. NAVY PHOTO
Japan's Defense Ministry canceled a port call at Busan by the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, pictured here during an exercise with the U.S. Navy on June 15, 2017, due to a dispute with South Korea. NATHAN BURKE/U.S. NAVY PHOTO

Japan cancels port call in South Korea as relations with neighbor remain tense

by Hana Kusumoto
Stars and Stripes

TOKYO — Japan’s Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it will cancel a port call in South Korea amid tense relations between the two countries.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, including the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, planned to anchor in Busan in April before participating in a multilateral exercise as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers’ Meeting.

“It is important to participate in the maritime exercise … from the perspective of maintaining and enhancing the free and open Indo-Pacific,” ministry spokesman Hajime Aoyagi told reporters Tuesday.

However, he said the ministry decided it was appropriate to cancel the port visit when considering current Japan-South Korea relations.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.567469

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