Japanese destroyer JS Akizuki now in PH for 3-day goodwill visit

By Priam Nepomuceno

April 13, 2018, 12:10 pm

MANILA -- The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer, the JS Akizuki (DD-115), has now docked at the Alava Wharf, Subic Bay Metropolitan Area, Olongapo City for a three-day goodwill visit which started Friday until Monday.

Philippine Navy (PN) Spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said the ship is being manned by 200 officers and enlisted personnel. Prior to docking, the JS Akizuki was given a meeting point procedure off Morong, Bataan by BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35).

JS Akizuki is commanded by Cmdr. Kazunori Ishii. Also aboard was Capt. Ryoko Azuma, JMSDF Escort Division One commander, the first female to command a JMSDF squadron, which includes the helicopter carrier, the JS Izumo (DDH-183), which also visited the Philippines last June.

Her appointment took place last March 6, Lincuna said.

"The visit aims to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. It will further enhance and sustain promotion of peace, stability and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie," Lincuna said.

Similar to their previous visits, the JMSDF personnel will engage in a series of confidence-building activities with their PN counterparts, including goodwill games and boodle fight.

Lincuna said the visit of the Japanese ship will be capped with a send-off ceremony and passing exercise on April 16.

The JS Akizuki is a member of the four ship Akizuki-class destroyers designed to protect the JMSDF's Hyuga class and Izumo class helicopter destroyers and escort other sophisticated Japanese naval vessels.

The former is designed to engage surface, sub-surface and air threats and is equipped with sensors and weapons for the above-mentioned missions. JS Akizuki weighs 6,800 tons at full load and is capable of cruising at a speed of 30 knots. (PNA)