Icebreaker "Shirase" left Tokyo.

On November 8, 2013, the Icebreaker "Shirase" left Tokyo for Antarctica for the 55th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition and a ceremony was held on such a beautiful sunny day without any cloud in the sky.

With Mr. Ito in front of "Shirase"

Five members from Osato Research Institute including Mr. and Mrs. Hayashi attended this ceremony.
Before starting the ceremony, we got a permission to see the facilities if the vessel.

Mr. Ito and a family of Mr. Hayashi
With crews of "Shirase"
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Visiting the facilities in "Shirase"
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Asking questions to a chief-operator

The ceremony started at 10:00 AM with performance of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Musical Band.

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Musical band standing in neat rows
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Moment of boarding

After the musical performance, the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force boarded to the vessel in sober atmosphere and some of the top officials made speeches to send off.

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The ceremony was held at the rooftop heliport of "Shirase"
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Send-off speech

After everybody but crew members came ashore, next ceremony was held by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.
Mr. Hidaka, Captain of "Sirase", and Mr. Miyaoka, captain of the Expedition, were presented flower bouquets. They made farewell speeches and closed the ceremony.
The icebreaker "Shirase" departed Tokyo being sent off by so many people.

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Presenting a flower bouquet to Captain/td>
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Farewell speech

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Standing on the deck with rainbow bridge behind
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Container with the logo of "Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition"

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Tremendous Impact of close look of "Shirase"
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Members of the 55th JARE

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Together with the president of Kimura
Corporation to which Mr. Ito belongs
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Just before departure
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eparting "Shirase" with music of
"Auld Lang Syne" played by the Japan Maritime
Self-Defence Force Musical Band.

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