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Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, traveled to Japan for the 18th Western Pacific Maritime Symposium (WPNS) and fleet engagements, November 5-9, 2022.
WPNS provided naval leaders from 26 nations the opportunity to discuss maritime matters of mutual interest while building confidence and trust in the ability to work together for a free and open Indo Pacific.
Paparo and senior leaders and staff embarked the Japanese destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) to observe the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force led International Fleet Review. U.S. participants included the guide-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and F/A-18, F-35, MH-60R and P-8 aircraft assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet. While not part of the formation, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 77) sailed nearby.
During WPNS, Paparo participated in bilateral meetings with:
He also spoke with:
On Nov. 7, Sakai, Lee and Paparo convened a trilateral meeting to discuss enhancing trilateral security cooperation between Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States against common security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region including those posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Sakai also met with Paparo aboard the Japanese frigate JS Mogami (FFM-1) while in port Yokohama, where the two leaders discussed the strength of the Japan-U.S. alliance and toured the vessel.
Formed in 1988, WPNS aims at increasing member nations’ ability to operate together and build relationships by providing a venue for discussing maritime issues, exchanging information and developing international cooperation and transparency through the establishment of international standards in relation to the use of the sea. Its membership includes nations which are located in, or have significant strategic interests within the Western Pacific.
Attendance at the WPNS and visit to Japan underscored the United States’ commitment to strengthening alliances and partnerships for an enduring free and open Indo-Pacific.