PH invites Japan to completely join in Balikatan war games – AFP

Philippines invites Japan to completely join in Balikatan war games – AFP

/ 03:59 PM April 16, 2024

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A Patriot air missile system is fired during a live fire exercise in the annual joint military exercises between the United States and Philippine troops called “Balikatan” or shoulder-to-shoulder at a naval base in San Antonio, Zambales on April 25, 2023. (File photo from REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA, Philippines — Japan has been invited to participate fully in next year’s Balikatan exercises, the country’s biggest war games with the United States.

Col. Michael Logico, executive agent of Balikatan 2024 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, made the announcement on Tuesday as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s said the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) with Tokyo will soon be completed.


READ: The Philippines, United States, and France will conduct sail in the West Philippine Sea next month


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

“Beginning with the concept development for Balikatan 2025, we are already inviting them (Japan),” Logico said in a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo.

READ: Philippine, US, French navies to sail in West PH Sea for Balikatan

For this year, Japan will only join as observers in the Balikatan.

“We invited them [this year], but it was already too late for them to commit for the exercises. So instead, they will just send observers,” Logico said.


Without further elaborating, he also said other countries have manifested intention to join the Balikatan exercises.

“I cannot reveal it right now but other countries have also expressed their interest in joining Balikatan exercises,” he noted.

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TAGS: AFP, Balikatan

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