Reuters A Japanese navy replenishment ship was in Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base, to refuel a U.S. Navy floating hospital en route to Vietnam for the seven-nation humanitarian mission. By Manuel Mogato
'It was the first time a Japanese navy ship has
taken part in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief drills
although a flotilla of Japanese training vessels, including a submarine,
makes annual port calls in Manila.
'Rear Admiral Charles Williams, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet's Task Force 73, said humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises were becoming a regular component of military exercises in the Philippines.
'"You are seeing in exercises ... a shift from strictly bilateral engagement to multilateral, which is why you see the Japanese here today," Williams told journalists aboard USNS Mercy, one of two U.S. hospital ships.'