While the historic military agreement between Japan and South Korea has been getting all the headlines recently, along with its indefinite postponement, an agreement on defense cooperation between Japan and the Philippines has advanced recently. The military pact’s “Statement of Intent” was signed this month in Tokyo by Voltaire Gazmin, the Philippines’ Secretary of Defense, and Satoshi Morimoto, his Japanese counterpart. Other officials participating have commented that things are going well between the capitals of Tokyo and Manila.
The goals of the agreement is to increase understanding and trust between the two nations in order to work towards peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific. The deal would see Japan and the Philippines conducting unit-to-unit military exchanges, visits between the two nations’ ships, sharing of defense and security information, and the exchanges of research and education. There will be cooperation between the two countries’ respective international peacekeeping operations, as well as participating in defense frameworks from nations throughout Southeast Asia.
Once signed, the military agreement will go into effect for a period of five years, and, unless either party wishes to withdraw, will be renewed automatically every five years afterwards. One of the primary focuses in the Japanese agreement with South Korea was to share intel on the actions of North Korea. While the Philippines are a much greater distance from North Korea, they, along with other Southeast Asian countries, are highly concerned over the isolated country’s development of nuclear weapons. North Korea’s long-range missile test, carried out this April, ended up not needing intervention from Japan or any other country, but the rocket did crash into the ocean fairly close to Philippine waters.[Via Global Nation]