Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer, JS Ise (DD-182) arrived today at the Alava Pier here in Subic Bay Freeport for a four-day goodwill visit.
This marks the third time a Japanese naval vessel docked in the Philippines. Commanded by Captain Masaki Takada, JS Ise is one of the most modern ships of the JMSDF.
The goodwill visit aims to strengthen maritime relationship between the JMSDF and the Philippine Navy and promote regional peace and stability.
JMSDF delegates are set to visit the San Antonio, Zambales-based Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) which is commanded by Rear Admiral Renan C. Suarez.
Visiting navy personnel will engage with their Filipino counterparts, particularly those assigned at NETC through shipboard tour on the Japanese ship and visit at NETC facilities.
The ship was built by IHI Marine United and commissioned into service on March 16, 2011. It is the second ship to be named Ise, the first being the Imperial Japanese Navy World War II-era battleship Ise. (SNL)
 The JS Ise (DDH 182) a Japanese helicopter carrier of the Japan Maritme Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is being towed by tugboats as it approaches the Alava pier of Subic Bay Freeport zone Tuesday morning (April 26) for a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
 Japanese chopper crew gamely lifts a lady reporter with the rescue hoist of a Seahawk SH60K-ASW helicopter aboard the JS Ise during a shipboard tour for covering media while the ship is moored at the Alava pier of Subic Bay Freeport. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
Filipino dock workers await the Japanese helicopter carrier JS Ise (DDH 182) as it approaches
the Alava pier in Subic Bay Freeport Tuesday morning (April 26) for a four-day goodwill visit to
the Philippines. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The arrival here of the Japanese helicopter carrier JS Ise (DDH 182) on Tuesday is purely a goodwill visit to the Philippines and is not connected in any way to the growing tension in the West Philippine Sea because of Chinese claims over disputed islands and shoals.
This was the message stressed by Capt. Masaki Takada, commanding officer of the Japanese ship, during a media interview after the naval destroyer warship and helicopter carrier docked at the Alava Pier here.
Masaki denied that the visit was meant to counteract the growing presence of China in the disputed areas. He added that they are just here for a goodwill visit, along with some “rest and relaxation.”
The ship was welcomed by the Philippine Navy, led by Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Capt. Samuel Felix, who said that the ship officials will make a courtesy call on Rear Admiral Renan Suarez, commander of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) in San Antonio, Zambales.
Felix, who is also the deputy commander of the NETC, will lead the interaction between Philippine Navy men and their Japanese counterparts, which aims to strengthen the relationship between the two maritime forces.
Felix said that crewmen of Ise would visit the NETC facilities in Zambales, while NETC sailors would have a shipboard tour of the JS Ise.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Robert Garcia also welcomed the arrival of Japanese sailors, saying that he hopes they enjoy their visit to Subic.
Garcia said the Subic Bay Freeport is fast becoming a tourism site as well for military personnel, as more foreign military forces arrive for routine port calls.
“Subic Bay is not just a staging area or port of call for foreign forces; it is also one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Here, visitors — whether civilians or military — always enjoy their stay,” he added.
The Subic Freeport was once a “rest and recreation” area for American military forces when it was still the biggest US military installation outside of continental United States.
Areas such as the Grande Island and the All Hands and Dungaree beaches were usually full of US military men who spent their free days relaxing under the sun.
The visit of JS Ise marked the third time that Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels made a port call in the Philippines this year. Previous visitors were the Minesweeper Division 51 on March 2 and the submarine Oyashio (SS-511) along with two destroyer ships on April 3. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)