On Wednesday 6 January 2015, Operation Atalanta’s Force Commander, Rear Admiral Stefano Barbieri, met the Commander of the Japanese Escort Division 3 on board JDS Suzunami.
Rear Admiral Barbieri and member of his Force Headquarters were warmly welcomed on board by the Commander of the Japanese Task Group, Capt. Yoshioka, and by the Commanding Officer of JDS Suzunami, Commander Masanori Amemiya.
During the visit they discussed the importance of coordinating maritime activities in the piracy high risk areas and were given a tour of the Japanese warship.
Rear Admiral Barbieri stated: “EU NAVFOR is interested in exploring opportunities for joint exercises at sea in the near future as a way to strengthen mutual understanding, procedures and interoperability. Dialogue between the EU Naval Force and Japan is most welcome".