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YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the beginning of Japanese-Mexican relations, a 1,800-ton tall ship from the Mexican Navy called at Yokohama port on Wednesday.

The training vessel Cuauhtemoc initially planned to visit the port of Osaka, but the plan was canceled after the swine flu epidemic hit Osaka and surrounding areas, sickening hundreds of residents.

The swine flu outbreak started in Mexico in mid-March; the Cuauhtemoc left Mexico in February and all 264 of its crew members are in good health, quarantine officials at Yokohama port said.

According to the Mexican Embassy in Tokyo, relations between the two countries began when a ship headed for Mexico from the Philippines got shipwrecked off Chiba in 1609. Local residents rescued more than 300 of its crew members.

“The port call to Yokohama is a symbol of peace and friendship,” Mexican Ambassador Miguel Ruiz-Cabanas said at a welcoming ceremony.

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