Japan, Philippines Start 1st Joint Air Force Drills
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Manila, July 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Philippine Air Force started four-day joint drills near Manila on Monday, with a view to promoting new defense cooperation between the two countries amid China's territorial ambitions.
The joint drills are the first between the two sides. The Japanese embassy in the Philippines issued a statement describing the drills as a major milestone in bilateral defense cooperation.
The drills, taking place at Clark Air Base about 80 kilometers northwest of the Philippine capital, will cover humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, with the ASDF mobilizing a C-130H strategic transporter.
Prior to the air force drills, Japan's Maritime SDF and the Philippine Navy started joint drills in 2015. The joint maritime drills have since been held 17 times.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte, believed to be conciliatory toward China, the Philippines' relationship with the United States has soured. Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country maintains good relations with Japan.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]