MANILA - A day after China published a full-page newspaper ad criticizing the Philippines for its stand on the West Philippine Sea, and likewise lambasting Japan for supporting Manila, the top military commander of Japan arrived in the Philippines in a brief courtesy call.
(READ: 'Hidden' threat against PH in Chinese newspaper ad)
Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, was given arrival honors at 3 p.m. Wednesday when he arrived at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) general headquarters.
Kawano proceeded to give a courtesy call to AFP chief of staff General Hernando Iriberri.
Kawano is expected to observe activities in Subic Bay under Pacific Partnership 2015.
Pacific Partnership is an American-led annual activity that seeks to improve inter-operability among Asia-Pacific countries in terms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR).
It is referred to as the largest annual multilateral HADR preparedness mission in the region.
The hospital ship USS Mercy is docked in Subic Bay for this purpose, while other activities are done in La Union with the vessel USS Millinocket.