President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to bolster Manila and Tokyo’s defense and security relations.
In a joint statement, the two Asian leaders resolved to “increase the defense capabilities of their own countries, and further strengthen overall security cooperation.”
This will be done through strategic reciprocal port calls and aircraft visits, transfer of more defense equipment and technology, continuous cooperation on previously-transferred defense equipment, and capacity building.
“In concrete terms, the leaders affirmed to strengthen efforts to complete transfer of air-surveillance radar systems, and for its related personnel training,” the statement reads.
The leaders also welcomed the signing of the terms of reference concerning Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) activities of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) in the Philippines, which aims to simplify the procedures for visits to the Philippines by the JSDF, as one of the efforts to enhance and facilitate cooperation on HADR.
President Marcos and Prime Minister Kishida also concurred to continue to consider ways to “further advance defense cooperation including through frameworks that will enhance and facilitate education and training exchanges as well as reciprocal visits of defense and military officials.”
President Marcos referred to Japan’s useful defense equipment transfer program and the potential for deepening collaboration, joint work, and interoperability.
The two leaders also welcomed the progress of bilateral defense exchanges such as through the Vice Minister’s Defense Dialogue in December 2022, Staff Talks in July 2022 and the Japan-Philippines Military-to-Military Meeting in October 2022.
The Filipino leader also welcomed Japan’s intention to establish a new cooperation framework for the benefit of the armed forces and other related organizations of recipient countries for the purpose of deepening security cooperation.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE