Joint exercise in South China Sea reflects Japan’s ‘strong concern’ about Beijing

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PALAWAN ISLAND, Philippines–Tokyo’s growing partner in the field of security appeared impressed by the equipment of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.

“We have radar, but they (MSDF) have advanced radar for search and rescue,” said Niccaben Ogoc, 37, a second petty officer of the Philippine Navy, during the countries’ first joint exercise using the MSDF’s P-3C patrol aircraft.

The joint exercise was held on June 23 and 24 in the South China Sea using an airport on Palawan Island in the western Philippines.

The location of the exercise indicated that Japan also wanted the P-3Cs to impress, or at least send a message to, another country.

“(The exercise) shows Japan’s strong concern about China,” a Japanese government official said.

China is currently building manmade islands in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in an apparent bid to strengthen its sovereignty claims over the isles, which are also claimed by the Philippines and other countries.

 

Read more: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201506290076

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