MANILA -- The Philippines and the United States will hold a joint naval drill alongside their allies next month with over 2,000 personnel from several countries, including Japan, taking part, the Southeast Asian nation's military said Wednesday.
The 12-day exercise starting Monday will be held off the coasts of Sorsogon and Catanduanes provinces in Luzon amid mounting tension between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force will deploy its destroyer Akebono to train alongside Philippine Navy frigate Antonio Luna and two U.S. Navy vessels, the guided-missile destroyer Dewey and the cargo ship Wally Schirra. Naval ships from Canada and Britain will also take part, according to the Philippine Armed Forces.
Some 170 Japanese personnel will join the exercise, alongside 240 from Australia. A handful of personnel from France, New Zealand and Indonesia will also participate.
The Philippines' armed forces said in a statement that the annual exercise will cover anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, among other maneuvers.
The MSDF has taken part in the drill, dubbed "Samasama," in previous years.
Last month, Japan sent its destroyers Izumo and Samidare to participate in a joint exercise with the United States, Australia, and the Philippines in the South China Sea.