News   /   China   /   More   /   Editor's Choice

US allies Philippines, Japan ink key defense pact amid tensions with China

Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (L) and Philippine's Defense Minister Gilberto Teodoro shake hands after signing the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines on July 8, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

The Philippines and Japan, both the allies of the United States, have inked a key defense pact aimed at boosting ties amid tensions with China.

The Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) was finalized on Monday in Manila, where Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa held talks with their Philippine counterparts Gilberto Teodoro and Enrique Manalo.

The pact, signed after months of negotiations that began in November, allows Japan and the Philippines to deploy troops to each other's territory for training and other operations.

The signing was "another milestone in our shared endeavor to ensure a rules-based international order, to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and particularly in our region", Teodoro said.

The accord will take effect once ratified by lawmakers in both countries.

It came after leaders from Japan, the Philippines and the United States had their first trilateral summit in April aimed at boosting defense ties in Washington.

Japan invaded and occupied the Philippines during World War II, but the relations between the two have since grown closer because of trade and investment. They are also allies of the United States, which has been strengthening its alliances in the Asia-Pacific to counter China's growing military might and influence in the region.

Beijing says Washington is trying to create an Asia-Pacific version of NATO.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian said the Asia-Pacific region did not need "military groups, let alone small circles that encourage a new Cold War and provoke confrontation."

China is at loggerheads with Japan over disputed islands, controlled by Tokyo, in the East China Sea.

China has also been at odds with the Philippines and several other countries over maritime claims, including the strategic South China Sea.

Beijing claims the South China Sea in its entirety. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have overlapping claims to parts of the waters.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku