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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

PH, Japan Defense ministers talk about regional concerns

Philippines and Japan defense officials hold teleconference on bilateral relations

MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi met via video teleconference last Wednesday where they discussed bilateral defense relations between the two countries and regional security concerns.

In a statement released today, the Department of National Defense said both officials noted the increasing activities between the Philippine and Japanese militaries “across all major services” and agreement to further deepen cooperation in all areas.

Both senior officials reaffirmed their commitment to support the upcoming activities between Philippine and Japanese defense establishments.

Secretary Lorenzana expressed appreciation for Japan’s continuous support to the capability-upgrade program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and highlighted that the TC-90 from Japan has been fully utilized for the AFP’s reconnaissance missions.

Meanwhile, Minister Kishi said the transfer of radar systems to the Philippines is in accordance with the schedule.

Both the Philippines and Japan acknowledged the importance of cooperation on infectious diseases with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Kishi thanked the Philippines for its support and participation in the virtual Japan-ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Program, which underscored the military’s role in addressing the pandemic.

The Ministers discussed different regional security issues including the current situation in Southeast Asia, Korean Peninsula, and the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) and the East China Sea (ECS).

The two senior Defense officials agreed on the need for all parties to uphold the principles of freedom of navigation and to exercise self-restraint pursuant to universally recognized principles of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). (Melo M. Acuña)

Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)

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