2 Japanese warships in Manila



MANILA, Philippines — Two warships of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSF) are in Manila for a three-day goodwill visit, the sixth this year alone, the Philippine Navy said yesterday.

Japanese Ship Bungo, an Uraga-class minesweeper tender, and JS Takashima, a Hirashima-class coastal minesweeper, arrived at the South Harbor yesterday.

The visit is “another demonstration of fostering commitment to the maritime cooperation between neighboring nations, which benefits regional peace and stability,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ma. Christina Roxas, the Navy’s acting public affairs office director.

The warships make up the JMSF’s Minesweeper Division III under the command of Capt. Seiji Ikubo.

In support of the United States Navy’s freedom of navigation operations aimed at keeping open the maritime traffic in the hotly disputed South China Sea, Japan has been regularly sending ships to sail and patrol the region alongside the US warships.

The two warships are also slated to conduct a brief passing exercise with BRP Emilio Jacinto in Manila Bay to cap the goodwill visit.