VADM SAITO joining the change of command for U.S.Seventh Fleet.

VADM SAITO Akira, Commander in Chief, the Self-Defense Fleet, participated in the change of command ceremony at Yokosuka Naval Base, for VADM Carl Thomas, 53rd commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, and VADM Fred Kacher, 54th commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet.
At the ceremony, VADM SAITO expressed his gratitude to VADM Thomas, who is retiring after two and a half years of service, regarding to his commitment to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region based on the strong U.S.-Japan alliance, many discussion with him and our days spent together including both wives and shared my thoughts on the continued U.S.-Japan partnership with the newly appointed VADM Fred Kacher. Through discussions with the many Fleet commanders and his friends who attended the ceremony, we reaffirmed our common values of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP).
In addition to maintaining readiness and defending our country based on the deterrence and responsiveness of the strong Japan-U.S. alliance, the JMSDF, in cooperation with allied and like-minded navies, is sincerely contributing to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region to realize a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific".