Dancers of the Chamolinian Cultural Village, Man Antigu, Domatsuri Warriors, and the Saipan Awaodori Team performed yesterday at the Charlie Dock on Saipan to entertain crewmembers of Japanese military ship Kashima, who watched the performances portside as they could not disembark due to COVID-19 protocols.
The boat’s crew band, called the Japanese Training School Band, showed their appreciation back to the performers by giving them a show of their own, playing a handful of traditional Japanese songs.
The Kashima, a training vessel of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, dropped anchor on Saipan last Oct. 14. Those aboard the ship could not disembark and explore the island, though, due to COVID-19 protocols, which would have required them to undergo quarantine and testing had they gotten off the ship. They were, however, able to get a front-row seat for performances.
According to Hiroko Tajima, vice chairwoman of the Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas, Kashima, arrived on Saipan Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock and will be leaving on the morning of Oct. 16.
Jose Quan of Saipan Shipping Co., the agent who coordinated with the ship for their docking, said that the ship stopped to refuel and get a fresh supply of water. The ship’s route was Anchorage and Nome in Alaska, then Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and now on its way back to Japan.
The Japanese society, Japan Saipan Travel Association, and the Japanese consular office arranged the performances.
Tajima said that, on behalf of the visitors, the Japan consulate, the Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas, and the Japanese community offered a memorial flower and prayer at the American Memorial Park and at Marpi.
Tajima assured that the military personnel may not have been able to get down from the ship, but they had a nice view in watching the performances that the Japan group and consulate put together.