Philippines and Japan sign strategic military cooperation agreement

Japan and the Philippines have signed a major security pact that will strengthen their military cooperation at a time of rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region. This new agreement makes it easier for the military of each country to enter the other’s territory, strengthening their strategic partnership.

About the agreement

Philippine Defense Minister Gilberto Teodoro and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa signed the agreement in Manila in front of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. It is a big agreement as it is the first agreement of security of this type signed by Japan in Asia. The implementation of this security agreement is still pending approval by parliamentarians of both countries. Once this is done, it will be fully implemented.

Background of regional tensions

In 2016, an international court ruled that China’s extensive rights in the South China Sea were legally invalid. China flatly rejected this decision. Japan has its own strategic problems with China over territorial claims in the East China Sea. Japan announced a major increase in its military power in December 2023, a major shift from its pacifist policies after World War II. This happened mainly because Japan was concerned that China’s actions threatened the security of the region.

About Philippines-Japan Cooperation

Historical relations and aid: After World War II, Japan provided great aid to the Philippines. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) focused on infrastructure construction and disaster risk reduction. This was the beginning of decades of diplomatic and economic support.
Economic and Security Partnership: The 2016 Joint Declaration between the Philippines and Japan aimed to strengthen economic and security ties, especially in the areas of maritime defense and security. Japan helped finance the Manila Metro, a sign of this cooperation and which will make getting around the city easier.
Cultural and regional development: Cultural gatherings, such as the Philippine-Japan Friendship Month celebrated every year, help people better understand each other. Japan also actively helps the development of Mindanao, showing that it wants peace in the region.


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