Japan, PH to hold naval drills near disputed shoal
Japan and Philippines will hold naval drills near a disputed shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) next week.
The conduct of Passing Exercise (Passex) will be held between Corregidor and Subic on Tuesday, Navy spokesperson Cdr. Lued Lincuna said on Friday.
The exercises aim to boost synchronization of communication and cooperation in combined naval operations.
Panatag (Scarborough Shoal) off Zambales, an area claimed by China but is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone, is close to Subic.
One of the Philippines’ biggest warships BRP Ramon Alcaraz and naval chopper Agusta W109 will participate in the exercises.
A Japanese vessel of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force will also participate in the drills. It will dock in Subic or Manila on Saturday.
On Tuesday, part of the exercises includes code of unplanned encounter and deck landing qualification at sea.
Defense chiefs of Japan and Philippines—Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin—signed a note of defense cooperation and exchange.
Both also agreed to pursue a peaceful resolution in dealing with potential conflicts in the South and East China seas. The two countries share a rival claimant in China.
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