Monday, July 15, 2024

Japan and Philippines to sign defense pact allowing Tokyo’s forces to train in the Southeast Asian country

Japan and Philippines Sign Defense Pact for Joint Military Exercises and Live-Fire Drills

Japan and the Philippines Forge Key Defense Pact Amid Rising Tensions with China

In a significant development, Japan and the Philippines are set to sign a crucial defense pact that would allow the deployment of Japanese forces for joint military exercises, including live-fire drills, in the Southeast Asian nation. The agreement, known as the Reciprocal Access Agreement, will also enable Filipino forces to enter Japan for joint combat training.

The signing of this defense pact comes at a time when both countries are facing growing assertiveness from China in the region. Japan, under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has been actively boosting its security and defensive capabilities, including a counterstrike capability. This marks a departure from Japan’s postwar policy of focusing solely on self-defense.

The Philippines, on the other hand, has been working to forge security alliances to strengthen its military capabilities, particularly in defending its territorial interests in the hotly contested South China Sea. The sea passage, claimed almost entirely by China but also disputed by several other countries, has seen tensions rise as Chinese and Philippine vessels have been involved in confrontations.

The United States, a treaty ally of both Japan and the Philippines, has been bolstering its military presence in the region to counter China’s growing influence. President Biden recently reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defend Japan and the Philippines in the face of any armed attack, including in the South China Sea.

The signing of the defense pact between Japan and the Philippines underscores the deepening ties between the two countries as they navigate the complex geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific region. With China’s assertiveness on the rise, the alliance between Tokyo and Manila takes on added importance in ensuring regional stability and security.

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