Ichita Yamamoto, the Japanese minister in charge of Okinawa, revealed on Tuesday that he will be on a three-day visit to the Philippines to look at the former United States military facilities and bases and how the southeast Asian nation has converted the areas for civilian use. Yamamoto said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in the hope of applying the Filipinos’ experience in the conversion of U.S. military facilities to the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, which is home to the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan.
During the three-day trip which ends on Thursday, Yamamoto will visit what were formerly known as Clark Air Base and the nearby Subic Bay Naval Base, while also scheduling a meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. The bases in the Philippine provinces of Pampanga and Zambales – both north of the capital city of Manila – have been converted into special commercial zones, and are seen as two of the most successful models of U.S. military bases being converted to civilian use after the Philippine government voted against renewing the hosting agreement with the United States in the early 1990s. Yamamoto said his visit will be “very significant” in moving forward and planning how to use the land and facilities south of the Kadena Air Base, which the U.S. military will be returning to Japan.
“I would also like for local officials during our talks to have a correct perception of Japan’s position regarding the Senkaku Islands,” Yamamoto added. Japan is in a bitter dispute with China over the sovereignty of the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, straining bilateral relations between the two Asian giants, as Beijing also lays claim to what it calls the Diaoyu islands. The Philippines is in a similar situation, having its own dispute with China over islands in the South China Sea, but may not be as capable as Japan in projecting sovereignty over the area.
[via Global Post]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan