Three Japanese ships arrived in Manila on the eve of President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Japan, bringing along Japanese navy officers for a series of meetings with their Philippine counterparts.
"The Training Squadron of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) berthed here today for a five-day goodwill visit to the Philippines from Oct. 23 to 27," the Philippine Navy said.
The 3 vessels are the JS Kashima (TV-3508), JS Setoyuki (TV-3518) and JS Asagiri (DD-151) which ferried 190 navy officials.
A customary welcome was made by Philippine Navy vessel BRP Rajah Humabon (FF11) near the vicinity of Corregidor Island, where it escorted the Japanese vessels to their berthing area.
The Japanese navy officials will have a series of engagements with their Filipino counterparts. Filipino navy officials will have a tour inside the Japanese vessels.
"The visit is another gesture of fostering goodwill which contributes to the furtherance of friendship between the PN and JMSDF established through the years with continuing commitment to promoting naval diplomacy and camaraderie," the navy said.
How will the Duterte administration proceed? It remains unclear as the President pivots to China and away from the US, a key ally of Japan.
Duterte has said that Japan might join talks between the Philippines and China to resolve overlapping claims in the South China Sea, depending on the developments
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