PH, Japan share ‘grave concern’ on territorial threats
MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi, expressed common “grave concerns” over “unilateral actions” in two areas where China is currently asserting control—West Philippine Sea and East China Sea.
“Both ministers underscored the need for all parties to uphold the principles of freedom of navigation and to exercise self-restraint in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the Department of National Defense said in a statement on Friday (June 4).
The statement did not directly mention China, but the Philippines and Japan are currently being threatened by China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea, which is the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and East China Sea, which is part of Japan’s territory.
China has escalated its campaign to assert ownership over Philippine and Japanese territorial waters, by deploying government and militia ships.
Lorenzana and Kishi, in the teleconference last June 2, agreed to “deepen cooperation in all areas”, noting increased vigilance of their militaries.
Lorenzana also expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continuous support to the Philippine military’s modernization program, saying that the TC-90 planes that Japan turned over to the Philippines were highly useful in recon missions.
Kishi also said the transfer of radar systems to the Philippines is progressing smoothly.
Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will provide the air radar systems for the Philippine Air Force for P5.5 billion.
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