Tuesday, March 08, 2016

First Japanese submarine to visit Philippines in 15 years

"It sends a message. It is important for Japan to show its presence," the person with knowledge of the plan said today. He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
A Japanese Ministry of Defence spokesman declined to comment on any submarine visit but said the navy normally conducted training voyages in March and April.
"But we are still in the planning stage so are unable to provide details," he said.
The visits were first reported by Japanese media, including the Sankei newspaper, yesterday.
Asked about the visits, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Japan occupied the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea during World War Two so China was on "high alert" for Japan's military moves there.
"The cooperation of relevant countries should benefit regional stability and should not be directed at third parties or harm another country's sovereignty or security interests," he told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

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