Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunday in Yokosuka

I was the guest of a friend -- thank you, again -- to the 18th annual Yokosuka sumo exhibition. Some pictures follow:



Banners outside the Yokosuka taiikukan where the exhibition was held; the banner for the yokozuna Asashoryu is on the left



No explanation necessary


Entrance of the top-grade wrestlers

The exhibition was attended by a number of VIPs, including newly reelected Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa, US Navy and JSMDF brass, and Yokosuka city officials, as well as a number of US Navy sailors and American civilians. At the close of the exhibition, the winner was presented with prizes from VIPs, include two senior US naval officers. All in all, today's events illustrate the uniquely close relationship between the two navies in Yokosuka, and the US Navy's established presence in the Yokosuka community. The relationship did not emerge overnight, and it has taken considerable work to build and maintain -- but in that sense it's an example of what the US-Japan relationship can be when properly managed.

Speaking of navy-to-navy relations, Yokosuka was crawling with Indian sailors in uniform, who are part of a five-ship Indian flotilla that has been visiting Yokosuka this week, in advance of trilateral US-Japan-India naval exercises. Note that the Indian visit coincides with the visit of Chinese Premier Wen. While Wen's visit may have resulted in the Indian port-of-call being more low key than otherwise, it still went forward, a reminder that Asia's international relations cannot be simplified to either all cooperation or all competition.

After all, two of the Indian destroyers in Yokosuka now are moving on to Qingdao in China, where they will participate in exercises with the PLAN.

1 comment:

David said...

I've always been of the opinion that democracies should stick together, especially in Asia and when dealing with states like the DPRK and China.

I guess these "US-Japan-India naval exercises" are sending the desired kind of message.

Regards,