Amid a South China Sea tensions, A Japanese destroyer sailed in the Subic Bay Freeport yesterday, for a port call visit. Another indication of extending security ties between the World War II foes, a show of force to counter Beijing.
The Hyuga-class Japanese helicopter carrier JS Ise docked at the Alava Pier for a four-day goodwill visit and maritime training and cooperation between Japanese and Philippine Navy personnel.
The ship carries four helicopters and has 360 officers and men, headed by Capt. Masaki Takada.
“We want to deepen the relationship with the Philippines,” Ise Captain Masaki Takada told reporters, who were given a tour of the vessel.
Takada declined to say whether the Ise had been tailed by Chinese naval vessels amid its voyage.
The Philippines, a US security partner with an extremely under-prepared military has been looking to reinforce ties with Japan as strains mount over the disputed waterway, all of which is asserted by China.
Beside the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan additionally have overlapping claims.
The ship visits, according to Japanese and Philippine Navy officials, aim to enhance “the already strong relationship” of the Philippine Navy and the JMSDF and promote regional peace and stability.
Capt. Lued Lincuna, director of the Naval Public Affairs Office said Its aim is to enhance maritime cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.
A regular ship visit took place after the two countries signed an agreement for Japan’s transfer of defense equipment and technology to the Philippines.
According to a Filipino Navy Captain Samuel Felix, Ise’s Philippine visit was the third by Japanese military vessels this year. “This visit will facilitate fortify our relationship with them. We have a solid and strong relationship with them already, however we need to improve that.” – Jason E.