Is This a Warship?

On a recent cruise with my husband, he heard other passengers talking about spotting a warship at sea. Since this was the territory between mainland China and Japan, the possibilities were numerous. Did they see a North Korean vessel? Was it a warship from China, Korea, or Japan? Because of the concerns at the time, maybe it was a U.S. ship.

Of course, I didn’t see my husband after that. He was running from port to starboard with his camera, hoping he would see this famed ship. Alas, all he saw was the ship in the photo. He ruled out foreign vessels because of the markings but a Google search turned up nothing.

Anyone know the nationality of this ship? For that matter, what type of vessel is it? My husband says it does not fit the profile of a frigate, much less a cruiser or destroyer. All opinions are welcome.


  1. From a quick search and translate, it appears this is a Japanese tuna boat called the MYOJIN MARU NO. 151 built in 2003.

  2. It is certainly not a “warship.” Although it might be a military “auxiliary” from one of the countries bordering the Sea of Japan, it seems unlikely. It is more likely either a small coastal cargo vessel or a fishing fleet support ship of some kind. You can see cargo hatches and one boom forward of the superstructure. If you have an original photo with much more resolution than what is posted here, it might be possible to figure it out.

    US Navy Retired.

  3. It’s not uncommon to see war ships while on cruises. My wife and I saw Italian warship on a recent med cruise. This is a Japanese fishing ship however.

  4. Thanks for the info everyone! It would have been interesting to see a real warship …. but then again, since we were in the vicinity of North Korea, maybe not.

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