JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.66

COLUMN

Kushimoto Town, Wakayama Prefecture
- The Southernmost Town on the Island of Honshu -

Photo Credit: Kushimoto Town

Kushimoto Town is the southernmost point on the Island of Honshu located at the tip of the Kii Peninsula. It is approx. one hour and 15 minutes by air from Tokyo. Kushimoto Town is also where Japan’s long standing friendship with Turkey began back in 1890. In September 1890, the Ottoman frigate Ertuǧrul was caught in a typhoon and drifted onto a reef off the coast of Kushimoto where it sank. The more than 600 personnel on board were thrown into turbulent seas and only several dozen were washed ashore at the Kushimoto Town Lighthouse where they were saved by locals. The 69 Ottoman Imperial Navy personnel survived and received treatment for their injuries, and were provided with food among other items. An Imperial Japanese Navy vessel picked up the survivors and brought them to home country after an approx.

two-month journey. Kushimoto Town honored those who had lost their lives in this tragedy with the monument. For the 125th anniversary of that harrowing night, this year MSDF vessel was dispatched as a host ship to serve as a goodwill ambassador and to honor the victims of the Ertuǧrul, which marked the starting point of Japan-Turkey friendship. Other events also included a joint concert between the MSDF Kure Band and Turkey's Ottoman Military Band, the Mehter.

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