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Aquino: PH to use 5 Japanese aircraft for West Philippine Sea missions

/ 04:27 PM March 09, 2016

FERNANDO AIR BASE, Batangas— Soon, five Japanese training aircraft will be used by the Philippines for its patrol missions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), President Benigno Aquino III announced.

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“Nakapila na rin ang pagdating ng dalawa pang C-130 ngayong taon; pati na ang pag-arkila natin mula Japan ng limang TC-90 aircraft, na tutulong naman sa Hukbong Dagat sa pagpatrolya ng teritoryo, partikular na sa West Philippine Sea,” he said in his speech at the Air Force leadership turnover ceremonies here.

(The arrival of two more C-130 planes is already scheduled for this year; so is our rental of five TC-90 aircraft from Japan, which will well our Navy to patrol our territory, particularly the West Philippine Sea.)

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One of the two C-130 secondhand transport planes from the United States will arrive next week, while the other one is scheduled in September. Aquino did not elaborate further about the Japanese air assets.

Recent Japanese news reports said that its government is planning to lease its retired Maritime Self-Defense Force TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippine Navy amid China’s sweeping expansion in the West Philippine Sea.

According to the report, while these aircraft are not equipped with radars, it is useful for inspection monitoring. The Philippines is reportedly going to pay millions every year for the lease.

Philippine defense officials have been sought for confirmation but have not yet responded as of posting time.

Both Japan and Philippines share a rival claimant with China over the East China Sea and South China Sea.

The two countries also recently signed an agreement for the transfer of defense equipment technology from Japan to Philippines.

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READ: PH, Japan ink defense cooperation accord

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TAGS: aircraft, Benigno Aquino III, C-130, China, Japan, Philippine Air Force, Philippines, South China Sea, TC-90, territorial dispute, West Philippine Sea
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