IMED23 completed its mission and returned to Yokosuka base.

On May 13, the Minesweeper Division 1 (JS URAGA and JS AWAJI) of the Indo-Pacific and Middle East Deployment 2023 (IMED 23) returned to its base in Funakoshi, Yokosuka, Japan.
Commander in Chief of Self Defense Fleet, Vice Admiral SAITO Akira, personally thanked the deployed members for completing their mission and expressed his gratitude to their families and friends for their understanding and support of this mission.
The Commander of Minesweeper Division 1 Captain NAKAI Eiichi said, "Our contingent departed from Japan on January 19, and participated in the U.S. hosted International Maritime Exercise/ CUTLASS EXPRESS 2023 (IMX/CE23) in the Kingdom of Bahrain and its surrounding waters, making port calls in the Republic of India, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Singapore, People's Republic of Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, and Republic of Maldives. In addition, as the global pandemic of COVID-19 was winding down, we held face-to-face discussions with high level officials of the countries we visited, which had previously been interrupted, and various exchange events including bilateral and goodwill exercises. Through such events, we contributed to realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” strengthening relationships of trust, and promoting mutual understanding with these countries.
The Self-Defense Fleet maintains readiness and contributes to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, not only for the defense of Japan but also for the realization of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" in cooperation with allied and friendly navies.