OLONGAPO CITY, Zambales — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday, September 1, 2018, toured one of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla Four ships, which is the JS Kaga (DDH-184), docked at Alava Pier in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
Accompanying the President were National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr., and Philippine Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad.
Also present were Japan’s Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Keitaro Ohno, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, and JMSDF Escort Flotilla Four Commander – Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukuda.
Upon boarding the JS-Kaga (DDH-184), one of Japan’s largest military ships, the Commander-In-Chief was given foyer honors by Japan’s Escort Flotilla Four crew. He then proceeded to the flight deck for a photo opportunity.
After visiting the flight deck, the Chief Executive signed the guest book and proceeded to meet with the Japanese delegation. President Duterte continued his tour after the private meeting.
Apart from the JS-Kaga (DDH-184) with five SH-60K patrol helicopters, two more Japanese destroyers, the JS-Suzutsuki (DD-117) and the JS-Inazuma (DD-105) consisting of around 850 officers and crew, are currently docked at the Alava Pier for a five-day goodwill visit to the Philippines.
This is Japan’s way to enhance its operational capability, promote cooperation, and facilitate interoperability with partner navies in South Asia and Southeast Asia.