Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Tamar completes her time in Japan to begin next leg of her Indo-Pacific adventure

7 December 2022
HMS Tamar briefly met up with her younger sister HMS Spey in Yokohama, Japan – the first time in 12 months that the Royal Navy’s two Indo-Pacific patrol ships have been in the same place.

Not since a lengthy visit to Hawaii in late 2021 to prepare the pair for the rigours of a Pacific passage and roaming opposite ends of the Pacific Rim have they shared the same waters.
 
Over the past month or so, both have been in and around Japan: Spey to take part in Keen Sword 2022, one of the region’s largest military exercises.
 
And HMS Tamar has undergone a period of maintenance on the back of a busy first three-quarters of 2022, most recently operating around the Philippines.
 
While the ship underwent maintenance – sadly ruling out her participation in Japan’s International Fleet Review – the ship’s company marched through the streets of Yokosuka, about 30 miles south of Tokyo as the country marked the 70th anniversary of its Maritime Self-Defence Force (aka Navy).
 
Some 30,000 Japanese applauded the Tamar contingent, and marching sailors from 11 other nations, the crowds a far cry from the peace of tranquillity of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the suburb of Hodogaya.
 
It is the last resting place of more than 1,500 Commonwealth servicemen – more than 100 of them Royal Navy, many from the previous HMS Tamar, the naval base in Hong Kong, who died in Japanese captivity.

A maintenance period, crew rotation, defence engagement, sports, the International Fleet Review and Remembrance Parade. Such an amazing opportunity to experience the awesome sights and culture of this beautiful country.

Commander Teilo Elliot-Smith

Eight decades on and relations with Japan have turned about 180 degrees; Tokyo is one of our key allies and partners in the region, its Navy one of the RN’s closest partners.
 
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key visited Tamar to learn about the ship’s Pacific mission… and to learn from the ship’s company about their experiences on what is regarded as one of the RN’s most rewarding (and demanding) deployments.
 
The Japanese element of the adventure is over for now. After sailing from Yokohama – where Spey is now undergoing her own maintenance period – Tamar paid a brief visit to Yokosuka for a final pit stop to take on supplies… and to take on Yokohama Country and Athletic Club on the football pitch (the Brits won 5-4) before the next leg of her mission.
 
“Our time in Japan is complete,” said Commander Teilo Elliot-Smith, Tamar’s Commanding Officer. ‘A maintenance period, crew rotation, defence engagement, sports, the International Fleet Review and Remembrance Parade. Such an amazing opportunity to experience the awesome sights and culture of this beautiful country.”
 
The emphasis in the coming months will be on the Indo in Indo-Pacific as Tamar concentrates her efforts further west, beginning with her first visit to Brunei.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.