Japanese warships dock in Manila port

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06:04 PM September 17th, 2013

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By: Frances Mangosing, September 17th, 2013 06:04 PM

Captain Tsutomu Iwasa and Rear Admiral Jesus Millan and their staff at the Philippine Navy Headquarters. Photo by Navy

MANILA, Philippines– Two Japanese warships have docked in Manila for a two-day port call.

In a statement, the Philippine Navy said on Tuesday that JS Akebono (DD-108) and JS Hamagiri (DD-155) of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Escort Six Division headed by Captain Tsutomu Iwasawa arrived at the port of Manila last Sunday.

The visit will be until today, Tuesday.

“The purpose of the visit was for re-provisioning and rest of crew before it heads back to Japan,” the Navy said.

Captain Iwasawa and his party visited the Navy Headquarters and paid a courtesy call to the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Jesus Millan. The Navy also hosted a welcome reception for the officers and crew of the ships.

The ships came from counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden near Arabian Sea before it arrived to the Philippines.

The visit was expected to promote stronger ties and military cooperation between the Philippine Navy and  Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.

Both Japan and the Philippines share a rival claimant in China. Last June, defense ministers of both countries met to step up their “strategic partnership in the field of defense, particularly in maritime affairs.

The Philippines is engaged in a dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), while Japan and China have a maritime row over Senkaku (known Diaoyu) in the East China Sea.

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