Statement on the signing of Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) with Japan

Any strategic partnership that strengthens our country’s close security relationship with a regional partner is an encouraging and welcome development. The signing of the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) demonstrates the mutual commitment of Japan and the Philippines to uphold a rules-based international order, particularly in response to regional security threats.

Aside from joint military exercises, the RAA plays a crucial role in coordinating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, given the frequent occurrence of natural disasters in the region requiring rapid and coordinated response efforts. Most of the newest vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were acquired through a project funded by Japan to enhance maritime safety capabilities.

As the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, I will see to it that the ratification of the RAA will be among the priority agenda of the Senate when we open the 3rd Regular Session later this month.