Japan to supply Philippines with military equipment
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine defense chief says his government will sign an accord with Japan to allow Tokyo to supply military equipment to Manila in the first such Japanese defense pact in Southeast Asia.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says the agreement he will sign Monday with the Japanese ambassador in Manila is not directed against any country but aims to address gaps in the underfunded Philippine military’s capabilities.
Gazmin said Saturday that there has been no discussion on what defense equipment Japan can provide, but added that the Philippine military currently needs to upgrade its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
The Asian neighbors have increased defense cooperation amid separate territorial conflicts with China. They held joint naval rescue drills near the disputed South China Sea last year.