PH, Japan navy ships hold drills near West Philippine Sea
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine and Japanese naval ships sailed together near the West Philippine Sea on Sunday (Nov. 14), demonstrating cooperation and operational readiness.
The Philippine Navy’s BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) held passing exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force warships JS Kaga (DDH-184) and JS Murasame (DD-101) off Subic, Zambales, the Navy said in a statement.
PH Navy’s BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) holds passing exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels JS Kaga (DDH-184) and JS Murasame (DD-101) near Subic, Zambales on Nov. 14 pic.twitter.com/6PJGzJ0c7j
— Frances Mangosing 🇵🇭 (@FMangosingINQ) November 15, 2021FEATURED STORIESGLOBALNATION
The Japanese ships were in the Philippines since Friday (Nov. 12) for a scheduled Indo-Pacific Deployment Fleet port call and maritime cooperation drills with Philippine counterparts.
The PASSEX aimed to practice cooperation and increase operational readiness between the Navy and JMSDF. Other drills conducted were maneuvering exercise and photo exercise, the Philippine Navy said.
“The Philippine Navy’s participation in these exercises demonstrated its commitment to furthering ties with partner navies while allowing capacity enhancement for its personnel through experiential learning with modern navies,” it said.
The Indo-Pacific is becoming a key region in the last few years and battleground for competing influence of the United States and China. Analysts have said that middle powers, like Japan, are expected to play a significant role in ensuring stability and prosperity in the area.
Japan has also become more outspoken on Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, where the US and allies have stepped up joint exercises in recent months.
Japan coast guard’s JCGS Tsugaru (PLH 02), which is currently deployed to Southeast Asia, will hold exercises with the Philippine Coast Guard this week.
Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the Philippine Army will also conduct joint training on humanitarian assistance and disaster response this week.
Last month, the Japanese government donated some P46.6 million worth of brand-new HADR equipment to the Philippine Army.
Japan, the Philippines’ top source of official development assistance, has been increasing its security cooperation with the Philippines in the face of China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea. Tokyo is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Beijing in the East China Sea.
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