Philippine Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force successfully conducted Passing Exercise (Passex) to test Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) between two navies. Japanese destroyers JDS Harusame (DD-102), JDS Amigiri and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) with its AW-109 naval helicopter participated in the said exercise May 12.
BRP Alcaraz was going out for her deployment while two Japanese destroyers were on their way back to Japan.
“This is for safety purposes, just to avoid encounters at sea, unusual incidents. That was actually agreed upon by all chiefs of navies participating in the agreement with the Western Pacific navies,” Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan said.
The Japanese destroyers arrived in the country May 9 to enhance the already strong relationship between the Philippine Navy and the Japanese Navy.
While cooperation between Philippines and Japan is getting stronger, China said it is paying close attention. “We have taken note of the report [of the first ever PHL-Japan joint military exercise in the South China Sea] and will pay close attention to this.”
“It is hoped that relevant countries would respect efforts by regional countries to safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea by themselves, and refrain from playing up tensions or doing anything detrimental to security mutual trust among regional countries and peace and stability in this region,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.