The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the Philippines is a significant and timely development, especially in the context of the evolving global and regional security landscape. The Philippines and Japan have a long-standing friendship and partnership, and we are eager to hear how the two governments can enhance defense ties to address the common security challenges we face.
A reciprocal access agreement (RAA) with the Japanese government can significantly enhance the Philippines’ defense capabilities through military cooperation and training, equipment and technology transfer, and other defense assets that our government may not be financially capable of acquiring.
Better economic and political cooperation with Japan can lead to increased trade and investment, benefiting the Philippine economy beyond defense.
For the past three administrations, the Philippines’ largest source of official development assistance (ODA) is Japan. This suggests a long-standing and strong bilateral relationship between the two countries in terms of development aid and assistance.
While I look forward to hearing more about the RAA, I am hoping that negotiations will be handled with utmost care to ensure that it is in line with both countries’ national interests and security objectives and compliant with international laws and norms to preserve regional peace and stability.