By Aaron Recuenco
At least 200 personnel of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) arrived in the country on board warship JS Samidare for a goodwill visit that will last until Sunday.
Navy spokesman Capt. Jonathan Zata said the vessel, which has two SH-60K patrol helicopters on board, arrived at Subic Port and was accorded with the traditional Philippine Navy welcome ceremony.
In his speech in the welcome ceremony at Subic, the head of the visiting JMSDF contingent Capt. Takahiro Nishiyama said the purpose of the visit is to deepen cooperative relationship with the Philippine Navy.
“I believe that this visit will make a great contribution to further strengthen relations between our two countries,” said Nishiyama.
Zata said the visit was the first for JS Samidare in the Philippines.
“This is the second visit of the JMSDF this year and the eighth since 2016,” said Zata.
Zata said there will be a scheduled courtesy call to the Commander, Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command; pre-coordination meetings; reciprocal reception; and shipboard tour.
A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap off the Japanese navy’s visit, according to Zata.
“The goodwill visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the PN and JMSDF. It targets to further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” said Zata.