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FACT CHECK: No new warships received by PH from Japan


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FACT CHECK: No new warships received by PH from Japan
There are no announcements from the defense departments of Japan and the Philippines confirming the supposed acquisition of 10 new Murasame-class warships

Claim: The Philippines has received 10 Murasame-class warships from Tokyo.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video posted on June 15, 2024, with 9,011 views, 18 comments, and 163 likes as of writing. 

The title of the video states: “Nakatanggap muli ang Pilipinas ng donasyon ng 10 napakadelikadong barkong pandigma mula sa Japan” (The Philippines again received a donation of 10 very powerful warships from Japan).

At the 0:29 mark, the video’s narrator states: “Sa isang makabuluhang hakbang upang palakasin ang maritime security at regional stability, ang Pilipinas ay muling nakatanggap ng donasyon ng Murasame-class warships mula sa Japan.”

(In a significant step to strengthen maritime security and regional stability, the Philippines has once again received a donation of Murasame-class warships from Japan). 

The bottom line: The Philippines has not received the warships from Japan. No announcements or reports from the defense departments of the Philippines and Japan confirm the supposed acquisition. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has not made any announcement either.

Murasame-class destroyers: The Murasame-class guided-missile destroyers are multi-purpose ships owned and operated by the JMSDF. Nine warships, jointly constructed by the IHI Tokyo Shipyard and Marine United between 1993 and 2000, are currently active with the JMSDF. 

The ships shown in the misleading video are JS Kirisame (DD-104), JS Samidare (DD-106), and JS Ariake (DD-109), which remain with the JMSDF.

There have been no announcements from Japan’s Ministry of Defense regarding the donation of any of the nine ships.

Japanese ships: Between 2016 and 2018, the Philippines received 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) funded through loans from Japan and constructed by Japan Marine United. 

In May 2024, the Philippines announced that it was set to receive five 97-meter multi-mission patrol vessels from Japan. The Philippine Coast Guard expects to receive the ships between 2027 and 2028. 


Growing issues: The video was posted amid growing unrest in the South China Sea. Chinese ships have shadowed and attacked Philippine fishing vessels and coast guard ships in recent months, as Beijing asserts its claim in the disputed waterway despite a 2016 arbitral ruling in favor of Manila. (TIMELINE: Rift deepens between the Philippines, China over South China Sea)

Tensions again heightened on June 17, when the Chinese Coast Guard alleged that a Philippine vessel “deliberately and dangerously approached” a Chinese ship off Ayungin Shoal, causing a collision. But the Philippines countered that China engaged in “illegal, aggressive, and reckless actions” that resulted in a Philippine soldier sustaining severe injury. Japan condemned the incident in a statement on June 18, joining other countries in expressing support for the Philippines. 

In April, the US, Japan, and the Philippines announced plans to hold joint military activities to “improve interoperability and advance maritime security and safety” in the Indo-Pacific.

Fact-checked: Rappler has fact-checked similar claims on the Philippines receiving military equipment from other countries:

For legitimate news on Philippine military acquisitions, check the Department of National Defense’s official website, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter) accounts. – Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a Rappler intern. She is pursuing a degree in political science with a major in international relations and foreign service at the University of San Carlos, Cebu.

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