Japan’s largest warship since World War II to visit PH
SANGLEY POINT — Japan’s largest helicopter carrier since World War II will visit the Philippines sometime in June, Navy’s Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado revealed on Monday.
“We’re looking forward to that visit… We are still planning whatever activities that we are going to have with them, but definitely they are going to allow the visit by some of our troops to have an idea of that particular vessel,” he told reporters in an ambush interview.
Mercado could not immediately give other specifics of the visit as they are still coordinating with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Japan and the Philippines both share a rival claimant in China over the East China Sea and South China Sea, respectively.
Reuters earlier reported that the Japanese warship will have a three-month tour in the South China Sea starting May, and the Subic Bay will be one of its stops. It will also make a stopover in Indonesia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka, and will cap off its tour by joining the Malabar joint naval exercises with Indian and US naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July.
JDS Izumo is a 27,000-ton, 31-knot flat-decked warship with anti-submarine and amphibious capabilities commissioned in 2015. Only last week, Japan commissioned its second Izumo-class helicopter carrier, JS Kaga. JE
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