MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A naval drill that Japan and the Philippines will hold in the South China Sea this week should not be a cause for concern for China, which is embroiled in territorial disputes with the two countries, the Philippine navy chief said Sunday.

Vice Admiral Jesus Millan said the joint exercise on Tuesday will practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea developed by western Pacific navies, including China, for the safety of vessels meeting at sea. The two navies will also practice on-ship helicopter operations and cross-deck training, and discuss naval practices.

Asked if the joint exercise has anything to do with the South China Sea dispute, Millena said "none, that is for safety purposes, just to avoid encounters at sea, unusual incidents."

Navy spokesman Commander Lued Lincuna said Saturday that the exercise would be held in South China Sea waters between Manila and Subic Bay as two visiting Japanese ships head back to Japan. The Japanese destroyers Harusame and Amigiri arrived Saturday at the Manila South Harbor with 600 sailors on board.

Lincuna said the drill will be held far from Scarborough Shoal, called Huangyan Island by Beijing, which Chinese ships took control of in 2012 after a two-month standoff with Philippine government vessels. Scarborough is 230 kilometers (143 miles) west of northwestern Zambales province and Filipino officials say it's within the country's 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometer) exclusive economic zone.

China is locked in territorial disputes with the Philippines in the South China Sea and with Japan over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.