The Philippine Navy and Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force conducted a joint naval exercise in Sulu Sea on Friday morning.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the activity was meant to strengthen the military cooperation and relationship between the 2 countries.
The Philippine Navy's dockship BRP Davao del Sur performed a maritime engagement drill in the waters off Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi town with Japan's Escort Flotilla-1, which is composed of 2 destroyers and a helicopter carrier.
The Philippine's maritime patrol aircrafts and Japan's anti-submarine helicopters also participated.
According to the AFP, the exercise is a chance for the 2 navies "to promote peace and stability in the region."
Japan's Escort Flotilla One is scheduled to call on the Port of Subic this weekend and further interact with Philippine Navy personnel.
The Philippines and Japan had talks of joint naval exercises last Jan. 29 in a bid to boost defense ties and enhance regional stability. They also reaffirmed their commitment to build a strategic partnership, particularly on political and defense cooperation, during bilateral talks last June 10 and 11 in Tokyo.
Both countries are locked in maritime disputes with China.
Manila and Beijing dispute their sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, while the latter and Tokyo claim ownership of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.