Teodoro says PH-Japan visiting forces deal may be signed next year

Teodoro: PH-Japan visiting forces deal may be sealed next year

/ 03:49 PM December 21, 2023

Senators on Monday have unanimously adopted a resolution that honors the 67 years of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan. radioactive water

Philippines-Japan flags. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — The talks for a visiting forces deal between the Philippines and Japan may be finished by next year, according to Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

Teodoro said the Department of National Defense already received from their Japanese counterparts the counter draft of the reciprocal access agreement (RAA).


This development comes as DND spearheaded the formal round of negotiations for RAA last November.


READ: PH – Japan visiting forces agreement negotiations underway

“We have received their counter draft already and we will review it and submit our comments and if there are no contentious issues then it can be recommended for the President for signing or his delegation of [an] appropriate official to sign,” Teodoro said over CNN Philippines on Thursday.

Pressed if this development meant that the talks with the RAA could be finished next year, Teodoro said: “Yes, it is possible by next year.”

Teodoro said they aim to finish the RAA draft by the first quarter of 2024.

“On the draft, hopefully within the first quarter and then hopefully our Senate can ratify it as soon as possible,” the DND chief said when asked about their target period to wrap up the RAA talks.

READ: Marcos, Japan PM want reciprocal access agreement done ‘ASAP’

The upper chamber needed to ratify the treaty, and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed confidence that the majority of the upper chamber would favor the RAA.


With 24 members in the Senate, the RAA at least needs 16 affirmative votes, as the 1987 Constitution provides that no treaty will be valid or deemed effective “unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.”

The RAA enables a mechanism for shared military training and operations and larger joint exercises between two countries.

To date, the Philippines has an existing visiting forces agreement with the United States and a status of visiting forces agreement with Australia.

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TAGS: PH-Japan visiting forces deal, Reciprocal Access Agreement

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