According to Philippines, US and Japan coastguards hold first ever joint drills amid high tension in South China Sea | The Star, in an effort to fortify their maritime cooperation and resist China's rising aggressiveness, the Philippines, the United States, and Japan on Thursday began their first-ever combined coastguard training.The intensely contested South China Sea, which Beijing claims nearly fully, is where the week-long drills will take place close to Manila Bay.For operations aimed at law enforcement and search and rescue, four Philippine Coast Guard ships will be joined by a US Coast Guard cutter and a Japanese Coast Guard cruiser.
Kenichi Matsuda, deputy head of mission for Tokyo's embassy in Manila, stated at the welcome ceremony for the Japanese and US boats that Japan has a role in maintaining and protecting a rules-based maritime order.
In an effort to stop Chinese aggression against Taiwan and the South China Sea, the United States has been working to develop security alliances throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Recently, Manila and Washington reached an agreement to allow US soldiers access to four more military facilities in the Philippines as well as to resume cooperative marine patrols in the contentious waterway.
A crucial defense agreement that would allow them to send soldiers to each other's territory for training and other purposes is now the subject of preliminary negotiations between Tokyo and Manila.
According to Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Armando Balilo last week, the US and Japan proposed holding the trilateral exercise.
The Philippine coastguard and navy purchase many of the ships they employ to police the waters around the archipelago country from the United States and Japan.
However, Beijing ignores a judgement by an international court that says its declaration of sovereignty over practically the entire South China Sea lacks legal support.