By Francis Wakefield
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessel JS SETOGIRI (DD-156), an Asagiri-class (General Type) Destroyer with one helicopter and approximately 200 officers and crew on board, arrived today at Pier 15, South Harbor, Manila, for a goodwill visit.
Capt. Lued L. Lincuna, director of the Naval Public Affairs Office, said
this is the fourth visit of a JMSDF ship in the country this year. The first one was JS AMAGIRI that arrived in February and the other two were JS AKIZUKI and JS OSUMI in April.
Philippine Navy delegates headed by the representative of the Navy Chief Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad, Capt. Joselo A. Tuballz, accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony upon arrival followed by a port briefing related to health and security aboard JS Setogiri.
Subsequently, Capt. Susumi Moriyama, commander of Escort Division Sevenand, and Commander TokeshiTonegawa, commanding Officer of JS Setogiri, will also render a courtesy call on Empedrad at the Philippine Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
Lincuna said like their previous visits, the Japanese navy will engage in a series of confidence-building activities with their PN counterparts such as goodwill games followed by a boodle fight. A send-off ceremony will cap off their port visit on May 26.
Lincuna said there’s nothing unusual for the JMSDF’s frequent visit to the country amid China’s aggressive military buildup in the South China Sea.
“This is a regular port visit and we welcome navies that plan to visit us,” Lincuna said.
“The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the two navies.
It will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” he added.