2 Japanese warships in Manila for passing exercises with PH Navy
TWO Japanese warships are in Manila for a port visit and an exercise on Tuesday with the Philippine Navy in the West Philippine Sea.
The JS Harusame and JS Amigiri, led by Capt. Masatoshi Kashihara, arrived at the Manila South Harbor on Saturday morning.
The top officials of the Japanese warships are expected to pay a courtesy call on Philippine Navy chief, Vice Admiral Jesus Millan.
On Tuesday, the Japanese warships are expected to conduct passing exercises with the Philippine Navy at the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the South China Sea within the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.
“The passing exercise is a good opportunity to practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea. This protocol, developed by West Pacific navies, is very useful for the safety of military vessels meeting at sea,” Millan said.
The Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz and an AW 109 helicopter aboard it will take part in the passing exercise in waters between Manila and Subic Bay as the Japanese warships head home to Japan.
Millan welcomed the passing exercise as he said this would enable the Philippine Navy to practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters At Sea, developed during a recent symposium in China.
“We have an agreement to test the code, and this is between military and military, navy and navy. It’s a very welcome opportunity especially for our sailors who didn’t have the opportunity yet to see how it is being done with the other countries,” Millan said.
The Philippine Navy chief assured the public that the passing exercise would have nothing to do with the ongoing territorial dispute in the West
Philippine Sea with China and other claimant countries.
It may be recalled that Japan is also locked in a territorial dispute with China over Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Millan has maintained that the exercise is for safety purposes to avoid unusual incidents and encounters at sea between military vessels.
In fact, China’s navy is part of the code to be practiced by both the Japanese and Philippine navies.
“If there will be a similar exercise with China, we will also practice that code,” Millan said.
Millan also welcomed the visit of the Japanese warships as an opportunity to see their systems in place and as a chance to exchange notes on modernization, training and hardware. SFM
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