By Mar Supnad
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE — President Duterte visited Sunday afternoon the Japanese Escort Flotilla One, which is docked at Alava Pier in Subic Bay.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla One is made up of the helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183) and the guided-missile destroyer JS Sazanami (DDG-113). It is here for a four-day visit to the country.
The President told the media he was happy to board the JS Izumo, noting the state-of-the-art ship that can respond to both conflict and humanitarian missions.
Duterte said he is the first head of state to board the JS Izumo, which was commissioned in 2015.
“The four-day visit seeks to enhance the already strong relationship between the Philippine Navy (PN) and JMSDF.
It will also further sustain promotion of peace, stability and maritime cooperation between the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie,” PN said in a statement.
“It will include series of confidence-building engagements between PN and JMSDF personnel such as shipboard tour aboard Japanese vessels, reciprocal receptions, goodwill games, and fun run,” PN added.
Rear Adm. Yoshihiro Goka heads the Escort Flotilla One. It has 800 officers and enlisted crew members.
“I am sure that we could deepen the bilateral relationship [between our countries] and strengthen the ties between the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Japanese Navy by conducting these events,” Goka remarked.
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