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Korean Navy to resume exchange program with Japan

The Korean Navy will resume its exchange activities with Japan next month, a local military official said on Sunday.

"A delegate of 600 Navy sailors and senior-year cadets of the Korea Naval Academy will make a port call to Japan in early September," said a military official in Seoul. The group is set to leave on Sept. 5.

Japan will be one of the 12 countries that the sailors and cadets visit during their global training cruise, along with Russia, Australia, Singapore and the United States, according to official. 

The crew will be sailing on the 4,400-ton destroyer Yi Sun-shin and 4,200-ton combat support ship Cheonji, and are set to return home in December.

The group will call at the Port of Tokyo on Sept. 8 for three nights and four days. During the stay, the KNA cadets will visit a Japanese local navy base, and invite Japanese navy officials to their vessels.

Launched in 1954, the KNA's senior cruise has been an annual tradition before the graduates start duty the next year. 

Since 2011, Japan had been cut out of the itinerary of the training program, most likely due to the cold Seoul-Tokyo relationship, exacerbated by long-standing disputes on skewed history and liabilities for Japan's wartime crimes. (Yonhap)
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