On November 11, 2023, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Akira Saito held a press conference on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and announced that the Philippines would participate in the Japan-US-Australia-Canada joint military exercise as an observer for the first time. The picture shows the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier anchored off the coast of Danang, Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. (Linh Pham/AFP via Getty Images)
[The Epoch Times, November 11, 2023](Comprehensive report by Epoch Times reporter Zhang Ting) The Annualex 2023 annual joint military exercise between Japan, the United States, Australia and Canada kicked off on Friday (November 10). This military exercise is hosted by Japan, and the Philippines participates as an observer for the first time. As conflicts between China and the Philippines intensify in the South China Sea, the Philippines is seeking closer maritime cooperation with the United States and U.S. allies.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Akira Saito said at a press conference aboard the USS Carl Vinson on Saturday (November 11), “The Philippines is a very important country for us. countries and we want to take advantage of every possible opportunity to coordinate with their navies.”
While holding a press conference, the Carl Vinson entered a secret location in the Pacific.
“We will conduct a high-end exercise to practice the tactical decision-making of commanders at all levels and improve the mission combat capabilities of the Maritime Self-Defense Force.” Saito Satoshi said, “We will also strengthen bilateral response capabilities and interoperability with the U.S. Navy, and Promote cooperation with Australian and Canadian forces and the Philippine Navy.”
Although Saito said the exercise was not country-specific, it comes as Japan, the United States and the Philippines seek closer ties and deeper security cooperation to counter regional challenges from China.
Saito Satoshi mentioned the threat of the Chinese Communist Party without naming it, saying that with the increase in maritime security threats (including threats to try to change the status quo by force), strengthening cooperation between navies of various countries is important for “the stability of the Indo-Pacific region and world peace and security.” Stability is crucial.” The Japan Self-Defense Fleet will continue to work closely with the U.S. Seventh Fleet to respond to various emergencies, and strengthen cooperation with other like-minded armed forces such as the navies and air forces of Australia, Canada, and the Philippine Navy to defend Japan and ensure regional peace and security. Stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Karl Thomas, commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, said, “The more our navies work together, the more multilateral our operations and exercises are, the more secure this region will be. So I’m pleased that Japan will The Philippines is invited to observe the exercise.”
“We act together because we share a common vision for a rules-based international order that benefits all nations and ensures peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will deepen our interoperability through exercises,” Thomas said .
The military exercise will last from November 10 to November 20 and will involve approximately 30 ships and 40 aircraft.
The Philippines’ conflict with China in the South China Sea has continued to escalate in recent weeks, prompting the Philippines to seek closer military cooperation with Japan.
On October 22, a Chinese coast guard ship and a militia ship collided with a Philippine coast guard ship and a military supply ship respectively on disputed shoals in the South China Sea. The Philippines accused the CCP of saying, “This is a dangerous, irresponsible and illegal act.”
On November 10, the Philippines condemned the “unwarranted coercion and dangerous actions” of the Chinese Coast Guard, including the use of water cannons against a Philippine ship in an attempt to disrupt the Philippines’ supply mission in the South China Sea. On November 11, the Philippine Coast Guard said that although China may send more ships to the area, the Philippines will continue to provide supplies to its small unit stationed on a World War II landing ship at Second Thomas Shoal.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the Philippines last week and reached a consensus with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the two countries began negotiations on a reciprocal military access agreement.
Marcos Jr. said Japan has provided a donation of 600 million yen ($4 million) to the Philippines to help the Philippine Department of Defense strengthen maritime security.
Before Kishida Fumio’s visit to the Philippines, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced the delivery of the first air surveillance radar system to the Philippine military as part of the Japan-Philippines 2020 contract.
(This article partially refers to reports from Reuters.)
Editor in charge: Sun Yun#