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Japan, Philippines to step up security ties

TOKYO (AP) – The defence ministers of Japan and the Philippines agreed on Thursday to bolster security cooperation and expand joint drills between their forces.

Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi and his Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, shared concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its impact in the Indo-Pacific, and noted that any attempts to change the status quo by force is unacceptable, Japan’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Japan has significantly expanded joint drills with the United States (US) and other partners, including Australia, India, France, Britain and Germany.

Kishi and Lorenzana also agreed to increase cooperation in defence equipment and technology transfer between the two countries. Tokyo and Manila agreed in 2020 on the Japanese export of air radar systems to the Philippine military.

The defence ministers will be joined by foreign ministers from each country today for the first “two plus two” security talks between the two countries.

Defence Secretary of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana and Defence Minister of Japan Nobuo Kishi at Kishi’s Ministry in Tokyo. PHOTO: KYODO NEWS VIA AP