J​an next to an SH-60K helicopter on the deck of Japanese destroyer JS INAZUMA, in San Diego, CA (photo by Koshi Matsushita).
J​an next to an SH-60K helicopter on the deck of Japanese destroyer JS INAZUMA, in San Diego, CA (photo by Koshi Matsushita).


Includes video of the Japanese Navy at work in San Diego


“Racing in the Rain” is one of a very few films that is true to auto racing. The credits suggest why. Several well-known racers contributed to this movie.

However, “Racing in the Rain” is much more than an auto racing movie. In fact, it can be argued that the auto racing is almost peripheral. It has broad appeal.

Based on the Garth Stein novel, which spent three and a half years on the bestseller list and has been translated into 38 languages, “Racing in the Rain” tells the story of skilled race car driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia). Over the course of the film, Denny buys a dog and starts a family, and faces overwhelming obstacles as he tries to balance family responsibilities with the pursuit of his career in professional auto racing.

This entertaining story is told with insight, passion and humor by Denny’s dog Enzo (as in Enzo Ferrari). Of course, since dogs cannot speak in human language, instead we hear Enzo’s thoughts – narrated by actor Kevin Costner.

This is a tear-jerker. Bring tissues.

For more information, visit: www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain.


U.S. Navy ships are a common sight along the San Diego waterfront, but it is far less often that we see foreign naval vessels here. As part of the Japan Training Squadron Overseas Cruise 2019, two such vessels, representing the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Training Squadron, recently visited the Port of San Diego, docking near the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier and museum.

JS INAZUMA (DD105) and JS TV KASHIMA (TV3508) in San Diego, CA.

JS INAZUMA (DD105) and JS TV KASHIMA (TV3508) in San Diego, CA.

The vessels were JS INAZUMA (DD105) and JS TV KASHIMA (TV3508). I was welcomed aboard, along with other members of the public (including the Pacific Photographic Society. PPS is an especially active, San Diego-based photography group on Meetup.com that offers its members expertise, numerous photo shoots at interesting places and events, and more).

T​he public was welcomed aboard to tour the Japanese ships in San Diego.

J​an exchanging business cards.

C​rossing to the destroyer JS INAZUMA from the training ship.

The primary missions of the JMSDF are defending Japanese territorial waters and maritime traffic. According to Rear Admiral Daisuke KAJIMOTO, Commander, Training Squadron, the purpose of the Japan Training Squadron Overseas Cruise is to develop the newly commissioned officers’ seamanship through training at sea, foster their international perspective and promote friendly relations with port of call countries. Japan and the United States enjoy such a relationship, hence the visit to the Port of San Diego.

On board the two vessels were approximately 570 officers and crew, including 190 newly commissioned officers who graduated from Maritime Officer Candidate School in the spring.

We learned that in the JMSDF, destroyers are named for natural phenomenon. MURASAME Class destroyers are named after words related to rain. One such word is lightning, since lightning often occurs along with rain. INAZUMA means lightning in Japanese, hence the name that was given to destroyer DD105.

JS INAZUMA was commissioned on March 15, 2000. It is the fifth MURASAME Class destroyer. Is capabilities include Anti-Air, Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine Warfare. Its combat and engine systems are extensively automated.

Its weapons systems include the OTO-Melara 76mm gun (one of the most popular naval guns ever produced), 20mm Phalanx CIWS, Mk41 vertical launching system (for Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles and ASROC anti-submarine rockets) and 324mm triple torpedo tubes.

Aboard JS INAZUMA was an SH-60K helicopter. Intended for a crew of four, it has a maximum speed of 330km/h.

JS TV KASHIMA is a training vessel. Its weapons systems include the OTO-Melara 76mm gun and 324mm triple torpedo tubes.

While visiting the two ships I observed their reprovisioning. Lines of sailors passed boxes and bags of various provisions up from trucks on the dock, and then across to the second ship.

R​eprovisioning the Japanese Navy ships in San Diego, California.

The Japan Training Squadron Overseas Cruise 2019 is scheduled for May 21 to October 24. It will visit 11 countries with 13 ports of call, for a total distance of approximately 26,000 miles. Join the Navy and see the world!


Jan Wagner

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