The upcoming visit of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla Four highlights the country’s good relationship with Japan, a Philippine Navy (PN) official said Thursday.
In an interview with reporters, Navy Spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said three Japanese ships, the helicopter carrier Kaga (DDH-184) with five SH-60K patrol helicopters, the Akizuki-class destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD-117) and the Murusame-class destroyer JS Inazuma (DD-105) will dock at Alava Wharf in Olongapo City for a goodwill visit on September 1-5.
Zata said Escort Flotilla Four, manned by 850 officers and enlisted personnel, is commanded by Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda.
The four-day visit reinforces the Navy’s good ties with its Japanese counterparts, which is bolstered by the JMSDF’s earlier donation of five TC-90 aircraft to the Navy, Zata said.
“As you may recall, the JMSDF provided us with aircraft, TC-90, na now we are refurbishing and a couple has already been repainted, and refurbished and are being used for our maritime air surveillance,” Zata said.
Zata said President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to visit and tour the Japanese ships on September 1, along with PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.