Two minesweeper vessels in the service of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) arrived at Pier 15 in Manila on September 21 for a three-day goodwill visit to the country. These vessels make up the Minesweeper Division III under the leadership of Capt. Seiji Ikubo.
Japanese Ship (JS) Bungo (MST-464), an Uraga-class minesweeper tender, and JS Takashima (MSC) categorized as Hirashima-class coastal minesweeper, were accorded a meeting procedure by Philippine Navy (PN) vessel BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS35) as they traversed the waters off Corregidor Island and escorted to their anchorage area.
This procedure is an internationally observed naval tradition where the host ship meets the visiting ship/s and escorts them to their port of call. PN delegation headed by Capt. Mederico R Celso, the deputy commander of the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade, accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony upon arrival at the port followed by a briefing related to security and health aboard one of the Japanese ships.
Filipino sailors will engage with their Japanese counterparts during shipboard tour of the two visiting vessels which also serves as learning experience and opportunity to further mutual trust.
A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap off said visit.
The sixth time this year alone, this goodwill visit aims to sustain and enhance the already strong relationship between the PN and the JMSDF. It is another demonstration of fostering commitment to the maritime cooperation between the neighboring nations which benefits regional peace and stability. NAVY.MIL.PH