Philippine Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF150) conducted Passing Exercises (PASSEX) with the visiting Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessels, JS Kaga (DDH-184), and JS Murasame (DD-101) Sunday, November 14 in the waters near Subic, Zambales. The scheduled JMSDF Indo-Pacific Deployment Fleet port call in Subic ran from November 12 to 14, 2021. Said PASSEX aimed to practice cooperation and increase operational readiness between the PN and JMSDF. Other drills conducted were Maneuvering Exercise and Photo Exercise. The Philippine Navy’s participation in these exercises demonstrated its commitment to furthering ties with partner navies while allowing capacity enhancement for its personnel through experiential learning with modern navies.
The visit of Japanese vessels is part of the JMSDF Indo-Pacific Deployment Fleet port call, which ran from November 12 to 14. Japan also shares the same experience with the Philippines with regards to maritime tensions with China. In July this year, the Philippines and Japan held its first joint air force exercises. The air-to-air bilateral training, which focused on humanitarian and disaster relief, took place from July 5 to 8 at Clark Air Base in Pampanga. In the East China Sea, Japan has been administering Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands since 1895, but China started to claim it in the 1970s up to the present. Japan also helps in the Philippine military’s modernization. The Philippines also has an existing defense agreement with Japan signed on February 29, 2016. The pact allowed the transfer of defense equipment and technology from Japan to the Philippines.
JS Kaga (DDH-184) is a helicopter carrier with a planned future conversion into an aircraft carrier. Officially classified as a multi-purpose operation destroyer, she is the second ship in the Izumo class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the other being JS Izumo. Kaga and Izumo are the first aircraft carriers built by Japan since the end of World War II. Kaga was built as part of a wider Japanese military buildup, triggered from heightened Sino-Japanese tensions regarding the contested ownership of the Senkaku Islands. JS Murasame (DD-101) is the lead vessel of the Murasame-class destroyers of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). She was commissioned into service on 12 March 1996 and was assigned to the JMSDF Escort Flotilla 1 based at Yokosuka.
BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) is the lead ship of her class of guided missile frigates of the Philippine Navy. The BRP Jose Rizal was designed and built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) of South Korea and is a derivative of the Incheon-class frigates of the Republic of Korea Navy. Changes were made on the base design by making use of features found on newer frigates of the R.O.K. Navy, considering reduced radar cross-section by having cleaner lines, smooth surface design, reduced overhangs and a low free-board.She is the first purpose-built frigate of the service, as its major warships were mostly obtained from retired patrol ships of other countries. She is also one of the navy’s primary warships able to conduct multi-role operations such as coastal patrol and anti-submarine warfare.