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A long time ago, the frigate I was aboard slid over the glassy water of Japan’s Inland Sea with only a soft hiss. In the dawn, patchy fog drifted over the water, turning rose-colored as the sun began to climb in the sky. Small wooden motorized skiffs scurried about tending their oyster beds, constantly crisscrossing in front of the frigate. The idyllic scene contrasted the tension on the frigate’s bridge as the watch struggled to navigate the unfamiliar waters in low visibility. This marked my arrival for my only visit to Kure, Japan.

Once the frigate was moored pier side in at the Kure Naval...


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