Launching Ceremony of Japanese 94m Class Patrol Vessel
On July 26, 2021, Ambassador KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko virtually attended the launching ceremony of the 94m Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) at the shipyard of the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Japan. Also present at the virtual ceremony were Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral George Villareal Ursabia, Jr.
The launching ceremony featured the Japanese nautical tradition of blessing the ship and its crew on its voyages. Under this tradition, the shipowner cuts the ceremonial cord using a special axe thought to bring good fortune and protection from evil, after which the ship is released from the slipway onto the water.
At the ceremony, Ambassador KOSHIKAWA expressed that the 94m MRRV will be another milestone in our long-standing maritime cooperation. The Ambassador also conveyed his wish that the MRRV will play a vital role in maritime law enforcement and marine environment in the Philippines, and further deepen the ties between the Japan Coast Guard and the PCG.
The two 94m-MRRVs, set to become the largest flagships of the PCG’s flee, were built through a 16.5-billion-yen fund from the Government of Japan via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The first vessel will arrive in the Philippines on March 2022 and will be handed over to the PCG on May 2022.
The vessels will enhance the Philippines’ law enforcement capabilities, assist in preventing maritime accidents and conducting quick rescue operations, and contribute to the overall improvement of maritime safety and security in the Philippines. The provision of these vessels is expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.