Meanwhile, the Japanese ambassador to Philippines, Toshinao Urabe informed the media that there will be greater defence cooperation between the two sides from now onward. He had attended a ceremony held at the Makati City on 5th July, to mark the 58th anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).
Urabe praised the steps taken by the Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III, to increase the defence cooperation and military ties between the two sides. He said that the visit by the Philippine President on September last year was very helpful in cementing the diplomatic ties between the two nations. According to the ambassador, for the last few months, several Japanese delegations have visited Philippines, further strengthening the already strong ties.
According to the Philippine Armed Forces, the latest agreement will cover military exchanges between the two armed forces, naval visits, meetings related to internal and external security issues, defence technology and knowledge exchange, issues related to maritime security, and information exchange. According to the agreement, there will also be more cooperation between the Peacekeeping Operations Centre of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Centre. Although information exchange is a part of the deal, the agreement prohibits the transfer of the information to third parties without the consent of both sides.
The latest visit by Gazmin to Japan follows several other high profiles by high ranking Philippine officials to the East Asian nation and vice-versa. Apart from the visit by Aquino last year, the Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Alexander Pama had also visited Japan recently. From the Japanese side, Admiral Sugimoto Mashiko, the chief of naval staff of Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force had held meetings with Philippine naval officials in Manila a few months ago.