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Japan's destroyer sets off for China visit
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A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer set off Thursday for a visit to a Chinese port, the first by the MSDF to China.

Destroyer "Sazanami," which departed from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, is scheduled to arrive at the southern Chinese port of Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province on June 24.

The 4,650-ton vessel will deliver relief supplies, including 300 blankets and 2,600 emergency food items, to those affected in China's quake-hit southwestern areas, Japan's Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and other officials told a news conference on Tuesday.

During their stay at the port, the crew members of the "Sazanami" are to join some friendship events with local Chinese people, officials said.

The visit came as part of a bilateral defense exchange following the four-day visit of China's missile destroyer "Shenzhen" to the port of Tokyo in November 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)

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