A Philippine Navy (PN) ship will likely make a historic visit to Japan next month, Navy spokesman Jonathan Zata told reporters yesterday.
“Possibly next month one of our ships will sail to Japan. It will be winter by December so there’s some uncertainty in sailing to the northern hemisphere,” said Zata.
The Navy ship will pick up spare parts and ammunition for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
According to a source inside Camp Aguinaldo, the spare parts from Huey helicopter was donated by the Japanese government to the PAF.
“It is the desire of the Japanese government to help the Philippine Air Force keep its fleet of Huey (helicopters) flying. It has made available spares that are not needed anymore,” according to the source.
If the goodwill visit of PN pushes through next month, it will mark the first time for a PN ship to make a port call in Japan.
Last September, Japanese navy ships made a historic docking at Olongapo, Subic, the first time since the World War 2.
Zata said it is possible that BRP Tarlac or her sister-ship, the BRP Davao Del Sur, will be selected for the mission.
BRP Tarlac, along with her 300-man contingent, made PN history with their successful port visit to Vladivostok, Russia on 1 to 6 October and Jeju Island, South Korea on 12 to 16 October.
During the visit to Russia, the PN contingent participated in several activities that enhanced their relationship with their Russian counterparts. Aside from this, PN personnel also got a chance to tour the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine Komsomolskna-Amure 877 and the Russian Marine Firing Range.