Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to send one of its submarines to the Philippines for a port call next month to Subic Bay, a Defense Ministry source said Sunday.
While the envisaged voyage is aimed at training MSDF officers and fostering goodwill with the Philippines, Japan is keen to help Southeast Asian countries improve their surveillance capabilities in the South China Sea where China is pursuing militarization.
The plan is for a submarine to leave Japan together with two destroyers in the latter half of this month, the source said.
The vessels are scheduled to cross Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, and dock at Subic Bay, north of Manila, in April, according to the source.
The destroyers will then proceed to make a port call to Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam.
The Japanese government is also considering leasing a number of MSDF TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippines, according to government sources.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea and has competing territorial claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.