Brunei, Japanese navies strengthen ties

The sea exercise between the Japanese Navy and the Royal Brunei Navy. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, June 12 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) JS Kashima and JS Setoyuki made port calls to Muara Port under the command of Commander of Japan Training Squadron (JTS) Rear Admiral Ishimaki Yoshiyasu with some 510 personnel including 160 newly commissioned officers onboard the ships.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the crew did not disembark, instead resorted to online platforms to engage with one another. JMSDF and Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) shared knowledge and future visions based on the long-standing warm relationship nurtured through a long history of friendly exchanges.

Through video conference on June 7, RBN’s Naval Training Commander Willie Mathias bin Pandan led Brunei Darussalam’s welcome for their Japanese counterpart. It was followed by a presentation on Brunei’s structure of maritime security agencies, vision and mission, and RBN’s international engagements with other navies, led by Lieutenant Commander Abu Qusyairi bin Haji Yacob.

Rear Admiral Ishimaki, along with senior and new officers, spoke about the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific vision’, Japan’s basic defence policy and their efforts.

After the presentations, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam Lieutenant Sugimoto Kentaro exchanged gifts with Commander Willie on behalf of Rear Admiral Ishimaki.

On the same day, Japanese Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Kakuta Hiromi led a lecture for the newly commissioned officers on the situation in Brunei, where they also touched on the relationship between the Bruneian royal family and the Japanese imperial family, as well as business activities of Japanese companies in Brunei.

On June 8, JS Kashima and JS Setoyuki of JTS and RBN’s patrol vessels KDB Daruttaqwa and KDB Afiat conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) off the coast of Brunei, in South China Sea. The exercise involving real manoeuvers confirmed each nation’s tactical expertise and operational interoperability. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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