The port visit of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla Four to the Philippines from Sept. 1 to 5 highlights the commitment of both nations in preserving regional peace and stability.
“It is a demonstration of fostering commitment and cooperation between the two nations which contributes to regional peace and stability,” said Commodore Jonathan Zata, Navy spokesperson, during the ships’ arrival at Alava Wharf, SBMA, Olongapo City, Zambales Saturday morning.
The visiting Japanese ships are the helicopter carrier JS Kaga (DDH-184) with five embarked SH-60K patrol helicopters, an Akizuki-class destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD-117), and a Murasame-class destroyer JS Inazuma (DD-105).
Around 850 officers and crew compose the visiting Japanese delegation headed by flotilla commander, Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda, Capt. Hideki Mizuta, of JS Kaga, Cmdr. Yuki Ochimizu, of JS Inazuma and, and Cmdr. Takeo Kinuyama, commanding JS Suzutsuki. Commodore Antonio C. Falces, Sealift Amphibious Force commander, welcomed the Japanese flotilla and said both the PN and JMSDF “share strategic partnership and common interest of a peaceful and stable region and rules-based approach to international engagements and resolution to conflict.”
Meanwhile, Fukuda said the flotilla’s deployment “is intended to improve operational capability and promote interoperability and cooperation with partner navies, while contributing to peace and stability in the indo-Pacific region.”
President Rodrigo Duterte arrived and toured the JS Kaga on Saturday afternoon.