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US-Japan navy celebrated 50 yrs of security pact

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YOKOHAMA (PTI): Some 300 naval officers from Japan and the United States attended a joint ceremony at the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force's Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1960 revised security treaty between the two countries.

Among those present were Vice Adm. Masahiko Sugimoto, commander of the MSDF's Self-Defence Fleet, Vice Adm. John Bird, commander of the Yokosuka-based 7th Fleet of the US Navy, and Rear Adm. Richard Wren, commander of US naval forces in Japan.

Sugimoto said in a speech that the Japan-US alliance has contributed not only to Japan's independence and development but also to the peace and stability of the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Bird said he is confident that the bilateral alliance will remain strong and continue to be the basis of the region's security.

Neither Japanese politicians nor officials from the Japanese Foreign Ministry or the US Embassy were invited to the event, which the MSDF and US naval forces regard as their own internal event.

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