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Bilateral security ties between Japan and the Philippines

Bilateral security ties between Japan and the Philippines

Bilateral security ties between Japan and the Philippines
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Concerns over rising Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea prompted the first meeting between Japan’s foreign and defence ministers on Saturday.

For the first time, the two US allies met for so-called two-plus-two discussions, in which both have territorial disputes with Beijing.

Concerns over the East and South China Sea are a major source of tension between the United States and Japan, according to Japan’s foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi. “Our two countries share serious concerns about this situation,” Hayashi said. “We agreed to ensure compliance with international laws, including the 2016 arbitration award to the Philippines.”

As a result, China finds itself embroiled in territorial conflicts with a number of Southeast Asian countries.

Chinese claims to the South China Sea were rejected for the first time ever by a tribunal in The Hague in 2016. The ruling has been ignored by Beijing.

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Meeting participants agreed to work together to cope with regional and global concerns, as well as to work toward a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Hayashi added.

As part of their collaboration, the two countries are working to ensure the safety of Southeast Asian sea lanes, as well as discussing the possibility of extending cooperative military training and exchanges.

This was mirrored by Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who said “we discussed views on regional security matters of mutual interest, especially freedom of navigation and over flight,” as well as “compliance with international rules,” including the 2016 tribunal judgement.

Other than Japan and the Philippines, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Russia have developed a two-plus-two framework.

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