28 March 2017

Japan's largest naval ship to visit Subic Bay in June

Helicopter carrier JS Izumo, one of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest vessels, will pay a visit to the Philippines this coming June.

“The JS Izumo, the largest of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s vessel, will be visiting Subic Bay, Philippines this coming June and we’re looking forward to that visit,” Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado said after the turnover ceremony of the two Beechcraft King Air TC-90 aircraft in Sangley Point, Cavite on Monday.

Japan's helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183)

Mercado said the PN was still planning possible events with the Japanese ship and personnel.

“We are still planning whatever activities that we are going to have with them, but definitely they are going to allow the visit by some of our troops to have an idea of that particular vessel,” Mercado aid.

He also said that he was able to board the ship during a recent visit to Japan.

The construction of the JS Izumo began in 2011 at an IHI Marine United shipyard in Yokohama, with 113.9 billion yen (USD1.5 billion)funds set aside in 2010 budget.

Ships of this class were initially intended to replace the two ships of the Shirane class, which were originally scheduled to begin decommissioning in 2014.

JS Izumo, weighing 27,000 long tons and measuring 248 meters long, is the largest Japanese naval vessel since World War II.

She was laid down on Jan. 27, 2012 and launched on Aug. 6, 2013. The ship began sea trials on Sept. 29, 2014 and was commissioned on March 25, 2015. (Priam Nepumuceno, PNA)