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Japan submarine to make port call in PH

/ 06:45 PM March 17, 2016
Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) officers stand guard on the deck of submarine Kenryu during its fleet review off Sagami Bay, Japan's Kanagawa prefecture on October 14, 2012. Forty-five MSDF vessels and one ship each from the US, Australian and Singaporean navies participated in the fleet review.      AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) officers stand guard on the deck of submarine Kenryu during its fleet review off Sagami Bay, Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture on October 14, 2012. AFP FILE PHOTO

A Japanese submarine will make the Philippines its port of call in early April, according to the Navy.

Navy public affairs chief Cdr. Lued Lincuna on Thursday said the goodwill visit would be held from April 3 to 6.

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The visit, a first in 15 years, comes amid China’s aggressive claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea, where Japan is also a claimant. A wire report said the submarine would also visit Vietnam, another claimant in the South China Sea.

“The visit is expected to enhance the strong relationship between the Philippine Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. It is a manifestation of a sustained promotion of regional peace stability and enhancement of maritime cooperation between the neighboring navies,” Lincuna said.

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A customary welcome ceremony awaits the submarine and two of its escort vessels.

Lincuna said there would be a shipboard tour on board the Japanese vessels by Philippine Navy delegates.

Last month, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa signed an agreement allowing Tokyo to transfer defense equipment to Manila.

Days later, President Benigno Aquino III announced that the Philippines would lease five patrol planes from Japan but no additional details were given. RC

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Japan, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, Kazuhide Ishikawa, Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy, Philippines, port of call, South China Sea, submarine, Vietnam, Voltaire Gazmin, West Philippine Sea
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