Philippines and Japan coast guards held anti-piracy drills in Manila Bay

May 7, 2015 15:20 IST

Philippine and Japanese coast guard teams on 6 May 2015 held an anti-piracy drills in Manila Bay. This is the first drill held by Japan and the Philippines after signing a strategic partnership pact in 2012.

The drills in Manila Bay were watched by the coast guard chiefs of 17 Asian nations.

The drill features the storming of a cargo vessel after a mock hijack. The drill was held in a show of maritime cooperation between the two nations amid rising tension in Asian waters.

Both nations face a challenge from China's growing assertiveness over territorial claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, where it uses coast guard and fishing vessels to press into disputed areas.

Philippines and Japan shared mutual interest, such as pirates and illegal trafficking, drug trafficking, firearms trafficking. Japan has been helping the Philippines improve its skills in maritime law enforcement, safety and environment protection.

China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which 5 trillion US dollar in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

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