Published: 17:39, May 29, 2023 | Updated: 17:41, May 29, 2023
Philippines, US, Japan to hold first-ever joint coast guard drill
By Agencies

Philippine navy AW159 anti-submarine helicopter (top) hovers above patrol boats during a navy's capability demonstration, witnessed by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (not in photograph) aboard the Philippine navy ship BRP Davao del Sur, a Tarlac-class landing platform dock, off Zambales, on May 19, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

MANILA - The coast guard of the United States, Japan and the Philippines will hold trilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea this week, the first such maneuvers between them.

The June 1 to 7 exercise in waters off Bataan province was as initiative of the United States and Japan, while Australia would join as an observer, Philippine coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said on Monday.

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Four Philippine vessels and one each from the United States and Japan will participate in exercises designed to improve search and rescue collaboration and law enforcement, Balilo said.

The Philippines was approached by Japan and the United States about holding joint maritime exercises in February. "This is a usual routine activity among coast guard agencies," Balilo said at a press conference.

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Balilo said the upcoming maritime exercise will include counter-piracy simulations, and possibly an interception exercise involving a vessel carrying weapons of mass destruction.