Japanese soldier participating in KAMANDAG exercise killed

A Japanese soldier part of Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF) contingent participating in the ongoing “Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat” (KAMANDAG) 2 exercise being held in the Philippines was killed in a vehicular accident.

A JGSDF spokesman told Agence France-Presse that the accident took place Tuesday, October 2 while Suguru Maehara, a 38-year-old sergeant, was delivering food supplies to exercise participants. Maehara was riding a van which figured in a collision with a truck.

In report by Manila Bulletin, it was noted that a Filipino was driving the van at the time of the accident.

“It is the first time a GSDF member has died during an overseas drill,” the Japanese spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

Though JGSDF brought some Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs), Japanese soldiers’ participation in the US-PHL KAMANDAG exercise is focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“KAMANDAG 2 is a military training exercise led by Philippines between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. military, along with participants from the Japan Self-Defense Force featuring military-to-military exchanges through various training events, capabilities development training, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects,” the US Navy said.

KAMANDAG 2 will be running until October 10.

Sources: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/07/18/japan-military-officer-killed-during-us-philippine-drill; https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/10/07/japanese-military-officer-killed-in-van-truck-collision-in-subic/