On April 15, the Japanese Squadron upped anchor and steamed east, destination - Pearl Harbor. No, this has nothing to do with a strike squadron but with the JMSDF Training Squadron on an Around-the-World cruise. The first stop was Pearl Harbor, which was reached on April 27, 2008. The training squadron consisted of three warships, the 4,050-ton Kashima, 3,550-ton Umigiri and 3,500-ton Asagiri, all powered by gas-turbine engines. The cruise will last from April 15, 2008 to September 18, 2008 and will circumnavigate the planet from west to east. Currently (August 5, 2008) the squadron is in the Mediterranean, having left Portsmouth, UK on July 28 and due to arrive in Port Said, Egypt on August 8.
From July 16 through July 20, 2008 the squadron was at anchor in Amsterdam, Netherlands. On the last day of their stay Harry van Baal went aboard and photographed the ships. Harry's photos are seen here.