Joint exercise to boost Brunei-Japan defence ties

|      Hakim Hayat      |

THE scope of Brunei Darussalam and Japan’s bilateral ties is set to become stronger, particularly in the area of defence as the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) conducts a joint maritime exercise today.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato stated this at a press conference in the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam recently to share details about the Deployment Airforce for Counter Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) exercise.

The ambassador said that since 2010, the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) has been actively involved with the international community in surveillance operations and pirate patrol in waters near Somalia, where Japan deployed two of its maritime patrol P-3C Orion aircraft to help combat pirate activities in the area.

The P-3C Orions are deployed at the location for a three-month patrol operation, before being replaced by another set of patrol aircraft to enable crew members to return home and maintain the aircraft.

The two P-3C Orions with 35 crew members are in the country for the maritime exercise with RBN today, where the scenario of the detection of a ship in distress and communicating information to RBN for rescue operations will be carried out.

The ambassador expressed his hope that the joint maritime exercise will benefit both sides in strengthening their capabilities and skills in defence.

He also hoped such exercises will continue in the future to safeguard the peace and stability of South China Sea.

He noted the strong friendship and cooperation between Brunei and Japan in various sectors including trade, education, culture, sports and defence and shared that both sides are working closely to identify new areas of cooperation to strengthen bilateral ties.

Japan’s P-3C Orion aircraft. – EMBASSY OF JAPAN IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM