3 Japan SDF ships arrive in Subic for goodwill visit
Three Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessels on Sunday arrived at Subic, Olongapo City for a four-day goodwill visit.
Captain Jonathan Zata, Director of Naval Public Affairs Office, said this is the third visit of JMSDF ships in the country for this year after the visit of JS Ikazuchi in Manila last January and JS Samidare last May.
“The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Escort Flotilla One (JMSDF EF1) comprised one helicopter carrier and its flagship, JS Izumo and two destroyers, JS Murasame and JS Akebono,” Zata said in a statement.
He said the delegation was led by Rear Admiral Hiroshi Egawa, Commander, JMSDF EF1 together with five SH-60K patrol helicopters and 850 officers and crew members on board, while the Philippine Navy delegation was headed by Commodore Adeluis Bordado, Commander of the Naval Installation Command.
The visiting navy had a welcome ceremony upon arrival.
In his remarks, Bordado said the visit underscores the continuing efforts of the Philippines and Japan to strengthen the relationship between the two governments and navies.
“This further trumpet the Philippine Navy’s commitment in promoting naval diplomacy and camaraderie and fostering goodwill with our Japanese Navy counterparts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Egawa expressed his sincere gratitude to the Philippine Navy for the welcome and support rendered to their visit.
He said that Japan and the Philippines are important partners which have made efforts together to maintain and strengthen maritime order in the region, citing the defense cooperation and exchanges between the two navies that have steadily been developing throughout the years.
“The JMSDF will continue to strengthen the cooperation with the Philippine Navy as a very important partner in achieving Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region,” said Egawa.
Last Friday, BRP Davao del Sur held a maritime activity with the JMSDF vessels in Sulu Sea. It served as a prime opportunity for the two navies to enhance interoperability and strengthen relationship and partnership among like-minded navies.
Zata said like their previous visits, series of confidence building engagements will be conducted between Philippine Navy and JMSDF personnel such as shipboard tour, friendly games, HADR seminar aboard JS Izumo, reciprocal reception and send-off ceremony.
A courtesy call will be rendered by Egawa and party to the Flag Officer-in-command, Philippine Navy, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad and will be followed by another courtesy calls to the Commander, Philippine Fleet, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo and Commander, Naval Education and Training and Doctrine Command, Rear Admiral Ferdinand Cusi.
The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between two like-minded navies as it will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie.
The JMSDF ships will stay in Olongapo City until July 3. Ella Dionisio/DMS