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  Vincennes visits Osaka, Japan

Vincennes visits Osaka, Japan
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For the first time in more than two years, a U.S. Navy ship visited Western Japan's largest city, Osaka. USS Vincennes (CG-49) arrived in Osaka, Oct. 6, with the crew manning the rails and a large welcoming party awaiting the ship’s arrival.

Among the cheering well-wishers were American Consul General Robert Ludan, Japan Maritime Self-defense Force(JMSDF) Rear Adm. Furusho and approximately 50 children from Osaka, bearing flowers for Vincennes' officers and crew.

After a brief welcome, the crew conducted tours for members of the press and the Osaka police department. The evening's festivities began early, with the crew hosting several distinguished guests, including Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan, Rear Adm. Robert C. Chaplin.

More than 5,500 guests toured Vincennes during the port visit. Vincennes Sailors also volunteered their off-duty time to participate in community relations projects at two children's homes in Osaka and Kobe.


"One of the best parts of our visit to Osaka was working and playing at the children's homes. The smiles on their faces made me really happy I participated," said Ensign John Shingler, a Harrisonburg, Va., native. "The hardest part was leaving at the end of the day."

Sailors also enjoyed many of Osaka’s and Kobe’s beautiful sights, including the Osaka-jo, Osaka Castle, Kaiyukan, the Osaka Aquarium and the Kobe Jazz Festival, during which the 7th Fleet Navy Band performed. "The (Kobe) Jazz Festival was really swinging," said Torpedoman’s Mate Seaman Bill Wisherd, a Eugene, Ore., native. "The music was great, and I had an excellent time." "I was amazed by the Osaka Castle Museum," said Ensign Thomas Guccione. "The craftsmanship of the treasures within the museum is stupendous." Osaka's farewell was as warm as its welcome. Several senior JMSDF officers gathered to wish Vincennes bon voyage as the ship departed Osaka Oct. 10. -USN-

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