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PH, Japan warships meet off Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi

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By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)

MANILA -- Filipino and Japanese naval vessels undertook on Friday a maritime engagement activity off Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi island in Sulu Sea, a military official said.

In a statement Saturday, Philippine Navy spokesperson, Capt. Jonathan Zata said the participating ships are the PN's strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla One consisting of "helicopter destroyer" JS Izumo (DDH-183) and destroyers JS Murasame and JS Akebono.

Zata said the BRP Davao Del Sur accorded the customary meeting procedure with the flotilla which culminated with a photo exercise.

Participating in the activity were JMSDF’s SH-60K helicopters and a PN maritime patrol aircraft, a Beechcraft King Air TC-90.

"This cooperative engagement is a prime opportunity for the PN and JMSDF to enhance interoperability and strengthen relationship and partnership among like-minded navies to promote peace and stability in the region," Zata said.

He said the JMSDF’s Escort Flotilla One is scheduled to call on the Port of Subic on Sunday and further interact with the personnel of the PN.

"This further highlights the continuing commitment between the two navies as in building capacities towards the peaceful use of the seas," Zata said.