Japan and the Philippines signed an exchange of note for a 1.1 billion Japanese yen or approximately PHP433 million to help the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) procure a state-of-the-art satellite data communication system. The Japanese Embassy in Manila said the grant aims to help the PCG improve its maritime law enforcement capabilities and maritime domain awareness, which will contribute to the country’s economic and social development, strengthening cooperation in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and its surrounding areas, as well as realizing the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” The exchange of note was signed between Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Aug. 8. With this system,
Koshikawa said,“The PCG will be able to ensure smooth communications between its 10 44-meter and two 97-meter vessels and the PCG headquarters “inclusive of free communication charges for 10 years. Being an archipelago also, Japan understands the importance of vigilance in maritime security. In light of the situations in the South China Sea, this is a very timely cooperation that will enable the decision makers of the Philippine government here in Manila to grasp in real time the situation off shore. Moreover, this will be extremely effective in terms of crisis management and response.”
Sharing common geostrategic interest and views on the developing global security landscape, Japan and the Philippines has developed a harmonious relationship that mutually addresses the call of times. Through various partnerships and collaborations, both nations has forge a bond as key partners, especially in the Maritime Security Domain. New challenges such piracy, terrorism, natural disasters, illegal fishing and the like presented an opportunity for enhances bilateral coast guard cooperation. On 12 January 2017, the Philippines and Japan signed the Memorandum of Cooperation, which granted patrol vessel and supported strengthening of maritime law enforcement capabilities.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) plans to acquire five additional 97-meter offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) from Japan as it seeks to beef up its presence in the West Philippine Sea (the South China Sea). The plan has been submitted to the Department of Transportation, which would be forwarded to the National Economic and Development Authority for processing. Jica earlier funded the PCG’s first two 97-meter vessels through an official development assistance loan of P6.4 billion. In 2022, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has formally commissioned its newest and largest vessel “BRP Teresa Magbanua”, a 97-meter multi-role response vessel (MRRV) made by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. in Japan. It was modeled after the Japan Coast Guard Kunigami-class vessels.