First-ever joint Air Force exercise by Japan and the Philippines

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The air forces of Japan and the Philippines will conduct their first-ever joint exercises next week, according to Japan’s embassy in Manila, which is a symbol of the two nations’ growing defense ties.
A Japanese C-130H cargo plane and its crew will participate in the drills, which will replicate the delivery of relief supplies to remote locations with the help of Philippine airmen.
The bilateral air-to-air training in humanitarian and disaster assistance, billed by Japan’s embassy as a “major milestone” for combined defense cooperation, will occur from July 5 to 8 at Clark Air Base in the northern Philippines, which was once a US military base.
In a statement, Major Mizuno Masaki, unit commander of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, stated, “Japan and the Philippines are both natural disaster-prone countries, and there is so much we can contribute to disaster relief operations for saving lives.”
The declaration comes as other US allies, notably naval patrols, boost up efforts to protect freedom of navigation and overflight in the region in the face of rising Chinese militarization.
Allies of the United States-China have been in conflict with Japan and the Philippines over its ships and planes in the East and South China Seas.

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