Cdr. Lued Lincuna, spokesman of the Navy, said that the arrival of Minesweeper Division 51 of the JMSDF is part of the confidence-building engagements between the Philippine Navy and the JMSDF.
The JMSDF’s Minesweeper Division 51, headed by Captain Toshiro Takaiwa, is composed of three vessels, namely, JS Bungo (MST 464), JS Aishima (MSC 688) and JS Shishijima (MSC 691).
Lincuna said that the Philippine Navy rendered customary welcome ceremony upon arrival of the visiting vessels followed by a port briefing on topics about security, safety and health with their Japanese counterparts aboard JS Bungo.
As part of their visit, Captain Takaiwa, together with the commanding officers of the three vessels, rendered a courtesy call to the Navy Flag Officer in Command Rear Adm. Caesar Taccad.
“This goodwill visit will also involve series of confidence building engagements between PN and JMSDF personnel such as soccer games and receptions that would create an avenue for cultural exchanges,” Lincuna said.
Navy personnel were also given a chance to tour and familiarize with the Japanese ships to enhance their knowledge especially in mine countermeasures.
“The said visit is another gesture of fostering goodwill thus contributing to the furtherance of friendship between the PN and JMSDF established through the years with continuing commitment to promoting naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” said Lincuna.
The Philippines and Japan have improved military and defense cooperation during the past years.
Both countries are tangled in tense disputes with China over the Kalayaan Islands Group in the West Philippine Sea and Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
The Japanese Navy’s Minesweeper Division 51 Arrives in Manila Monday, September 07, 2015.