High-ranking officials of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will meet Philippine Air Force (PAF) commanding general Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. at Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Wednesday, Dec. 7, for a goodwill visit.
.Maj. Gen. Takahashi Hideo (left), vice commander of Western Air Defense Force of Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), pays a courtesy call on Maj. Gen. Ramon Guiang, commander of Air Force Reserve Command of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Dec. 5, 2022. (Photo by PAF)
Maj. Gen. Matsuzaki Yuki, commander of Southwestern Air Control and Warning Wing of Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), arrives at Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Dec. 5, 2022 for a goodwill visit. (Photo by PAF)
The Japanese delegation led by Major Gen. Matsuzaki Yuki, commander of Southwestern Air Control and Warning Wing (ACWW); and Major Gen. Takahashi Hideo, vice commander of Western Air Defense Force, arrived in the Philippines on Monday, Dec. 5.
“This one-week exchange program is a capacity-building activity that aims to strengthen our bilateral ties with Japan Air Self-Defense Force by further exploring mutually beneficial areas of cooperation,” Col. Ma Consuelo Castillo, PAF spokesperson, said Tuesday, Dec. 6.
“It will serve as an avenue for fruitful engagements between our air forces which include high-level meetings and subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) on best practices and tactics, techniques, and practices (TTPs) related to various fields such as but not limited to fighter operations and aircraft maintenance,” she added.
After their arrival, the Japanese delegation paid a courtesy call on Brig. Gen. Teofilo Bailon Jr., commander of Air Logistics Command (ALC); Major Gen. Ramon Guiang, commander of Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC); and Brig. Gen. Rocky Binag, wing commander of Tactical Operations Wing Northern Luzon (TOWNOL) at Clark Air Base.
The Japanese and Filipino air force officials then conducted SMEEs on aircraft maintenance, medical affairs, base defense (security), and field meteorology.
The foreign delegates also visited various PAF welfare facilities at Clark Air Base.
The Philippines and Japan have developed a robust military cooperation over the past years, and the government is keen to elevate it further by establishing a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with Tokyo.
Last month, Department of National Defense (DND) Officer in Charge Jose Faustino Jr. said they welcomed the initiative of some senators to establish the PH-Japan VFA which will allow for the conduct of bilateral exercises between the two countries in the Philippines.
“We share common interest with Japan particularly in our interest in the West Philippine Sea and of course the border that we share. Our goal really is to strengthen this cooperation,” Faustino had said in an interview on Nov. 14.