PH, US, Japan and India navies sail for maritime cooperative activity

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2019   •   2135

The Philippine Navy patrol vessel, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS17) joined in the quadrilateral sail together with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force vessel, JS Izumo (DDH-183) and JS Murasame (DD-101), Indian Navy Ships, INS Kolkata (D63) and Shakti (A57), and the United States Pacific Fleet vessel, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110). | Photo credit: Philippine Navy

The Philippines, United States (US), Japan, and India navies sailed together in the South China Sea as part of the maritime cooperative activity.

This is the first phase of the ASEAN-Plus Defense Ministers’ Meeting Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (ADMM-Plus MARSEC FTX) 2019 in Busan, Republic of Korea.

The Philippine Navy patrol vessel, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS17) joined in the quadrilateral sail together with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force vessel, JS Izumo (DDH-183) and JS Murasame (DD-101), Indian Navy Ships, INS Kolkata (D63) and Shakti (A57), and the United States Pacific Fleet vessel, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110). 

According to Captain Roy Vincent T. Trinidad, who is leading the Philippine Navy delegation for the ADMM-Plus maritime exercise, “The group sail showed the active participation of the Philippine Navy as it strengthens its relationships with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. This gives us another opportunity to learn from like-minded navies.”

For the week-long transit, the ships conducted a series of training exercises and social interactions.

The ships will transit through the West Philippine Sea where the conduct of “freedom of safe navigation” is applied in support of a rules-based international system benefiting all countries.

Japan, South Korea, China vow to address diplomatic issues at trilateral summit

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

(L-R) Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono speaking at trilateral summit, commenting on diplomatic issues between three countries| Courtesy: Reuters

China, Japan and South Korea foreign ministers on Wednesday (August 21) vowed to address diplomatic issues at a trilateral summit.

Ties between Japan and South Korea were arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalized in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue of South Korean forced labour during World War Two, which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.

During a joint statement given by all three foreign ministers, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha said that the three countries should “remember to face history” and remove “retaliatory trade measures,” a clear jab at recent measures taken by Japan to remove it from its “white list” of trade partners.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shied away from commenting directly on the strain with South Korea, instead saying that all three countries should “work closely” in light of diplomatic “difficulties”.

China’s Wang Yi, following Kono’s words, said that China “hopes” Japan and South Korea will take the opportunity to manage their differences constructively during the summit.

This is the ninth such trilateral foreign ministers meeting, the last being three years ago.

From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Joseph Campbell, Hyunyoung Yi, Kwiyeon Ha)

Japanese flying car successfully hovers during test flight

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019

Courtesy: Reuters

Japanese electronics manufacturer NEC Corporation unveiled a prototype flying car that stayed in the air for almost a minute during a test in Japan this week.

About the size of an auto rickshaw and equipped with four horizontal propellers, the drone-like prototype reached a height of three metres (10 feet) during the test in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on Monday (August 5).

The flying car is designed for unmanned delivery flights, NEC officials said.

The Japanese government aims to start commercializing flying vehicles from around 2023, beginning with transportation of goods, and expanding to moving people closer to 2030. (REUTERS)

(Production: Yoko Kono, Akiko Okamoto)

U.S. opposes ‘destabilizing’ behavior by China in Indo-Pacific – Pentagon chief

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2019

(L-R) U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

The United States opposes the destabilizing behavior by China in the Indo-Pacific, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday (August 4), as the two nations wage an escalating trade war.

“This including weaponizing the global commons, using predatory economics and debt for sovereignty deals and promoting state-sponsored theft of other nations intellectual property,” Esper said.

China’s increasing assertiveness, especially in the energy-rich South China Sea, has raised concerns within the region, and the United States is challenging Chinese maritime hegemony and seeking stronger ties with nations pushing back against Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday decried “decades of bad behavior” from China that have hampered free trade, laying out a case at a Southeast Asian forum for Washington’s escalating trade war with Beijing.

Pompeo also said on Sunday that he was “very confident” the United States would be able to build a maritime coalition in the Gulf, despite a lukewarm response from European and Asian allies.

“They understand that they have goods that flow through this region, that are important to their own economies and so deterrence in the Strait is incredibly important to their citizens and to their countries,” he said.

“So, I am confident that when we begin to build out this process and begin to develop the operational concept which will be run by Secretary of Defense and his team, I’m very confident that we will have a global coalition that does what Secretary Esper spoke to,” he added. (REUTERS)

(Production: Jill Gralow, Yiming Woo, Stefica Nicol Bikes)

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