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US, Japan, Australia & Philippines to hold maritime exercises

Littoral combat mobile USS, Australian frigate HMAS Warramonga, and Japanese destroyer JS Akebono will join Philippine warships for the exercises.

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US, Japan, Australia & Philippines to hold maritime exercises

MANILA, 6 April: The militaries of Australia, the US, Japan, and the Philippines will conduct joint maritime exercises in the Indo-Pacific to keep the ocean open to everyone despite growing Chinese aggression.

Philippine Defense Ministry spokesman Arsenio Andolong said the one-day exercise will be held in the Manila Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea, where activities such as communication improvement and officer maneuvering will be carried out.

Littoral combat mobile USS, Australian frigate HMAS Warramonga, and Japanese destroyer JS Akebono will join Philippine warships for the exercise, he added.

They will go from South to Northern Encompassing and Western Boundary and Northern Command, the spokesman said.

The exercise will strengthen the forces’ doctrines, tactical abilities, techniques and working methods, the parties said in a joint statement.

The four parties also said that the 2016 International Court of Arbitration ruling on the South China Sea is final and legally binding.

Regardless, the Chinese government claims hegemony over a large part of the South China Sea, while the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei also claim four-quarters of these waters.

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