The Japanese search and rescue vessel PLH22 Yashima docked yesterday at a Philippine port to take part in a military exercise to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea together with the Coast Guard of Philippines (PCG).

The joint naval operation will be held on May 6 northwest of Cavite City.

The 130-meter long search and rescue ship PLH 22 Yashima has a capacity of 5,204 GT. The vessel is owned by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, based at the Fukuoka Coast Guard Office in Japan.

During the 5th Joint Maritime Law Enforcement Exercise, the Yashima will utilize its helicopter (Helicopter Bell 412) and a rigid hull inflatable boat. From the Philippine side, the Coast Guard will deploy its floating and air assets.

Delegates and heads of the Asian Coast Guard agencies will be present at the location and will observe the naval joint-exercise.

PCG representatives said:

“The event aims to further enhance the capabilities of PCG and JCG to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea, to acquire knowledge and skills in conducting airlift rescue operations, and to establish friendship and mutual understanding among the Heads of Asian Coast Guard agencies specifically between JCG and PCG.”

The Japanese vessel will be in Malate, Manila (Philippines) until May 7 during the 11th High Level Meeting of Head Officials of the Asian Coast Guard Agencies.

Both Japanese and Philippine coast guards are hosting the event, which aims to strengthen the friendship between the two participating agencies, to enhance their capabilities in handling piracy and armed robbery at sea and to raise their knowledge and skills in conducting airlift search and rescue operations.