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Japan And Philippines Strengthen Defense Ties Amid China Tensions

Japan and the Philippines have signed a new defense agreement on Monday, to strengthen their military cooperation in response to growing regional tensions, particularly with China. The pact allows Japanese and Filipino forces to conduct joint military exercises, including live-fire drills, in each other’s territories. This marks Japan’s first such agreement in Asia, following similar […]

Japan and the Philippines have signed a new defense agreement on Monday, to strengthen their military cooperation in response to growing regional tensions, particularly with China. The pact allows Japanese and Filipino forces to conduct joint military exercises, including live-fire drills, in each other’s territories. This marks Japan’s first such agreement in Asia, following similar deals with Australia and Britain.

The move reflects Japan’s shift under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida towards expanding its defense capabilities beyond its traditional focus on self-defense. Japan plans to double its defense spending by 2027, positioning itself as a major global military spender after the United States and China.

For the Philippines, the agreement supports President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s efforts to build alliances that protect national interests, especially in the disputed South China Sea. This area, vital for international trade, is claimed by several countries, leading to occasional confrontations, such as recent clashes between Chinese and Philippine vessels.

The United States, a key ally to both Japan and the Philippines, continues to play a crucial role in regional security. President Joe Biden has reaffirmed America’s commitment to defending Japan and the Philippines, part of broader efforts to strengthen military partnerships across the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s influence and promote stability.

Despite historical tensions stemming from Japan’s World War II occupation of the Philippines, both countries have deepened their defense cooperation due to shared security concerns and shifting geopolitical dynamics in Asia.

The new defense agreement between Japan and the Philippines marks a significant step towards enhancing regional security amid rising tensions with China. It highlights Japan’s strategic shift towards a more active defense posture and the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities in response to regional challenges. The pact also underscores broader U.S. initiatives to bolster alliances in the Indo-Pacific, underscoring the complex dynamics shaping security arrangements in the region.

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Defense PactJapanPhilippineTDGThe Daily Guardian