Japan and the Philippines sign Reciprocal Access Agreement

According to reports from Agence France-Presse, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, Singapore’s Straits Times and other media, Japan and the Philippines signed the “Reciprocal Access Agreement” in Manila on the 8th.

Kyodo News reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Defense Minister Minoru Kihara were visiting the Philippine capital Manila, and Philippine President Marcos met with them on the 8th. According to reports, after the meeting, Yoko Kamikawa and Philippine Defense Minister Teodoro signed the “Reciprocal Access Agreement”.

Kyodo News said that the “Reciprocal Access Agreement” will relax restrictions on the movement of personnel when the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Philippine troops conduct joint exercises and other operations in each other’s countries. The media also said that after the “Reciprocal Access Agreement” comes into effect, Japan will be able to participate in the “Shoulder to Shoulder” annual joint military exercise held by the United States and the Philippines “as a formal member”, and Japan had previously participated in the “Shoulder to Shoulder” exercise as an observer.

Kyodo News also exaggerated that Japan and the Philippines are allies of the United States, and the two countries have strengthened their defense relations in recent years “to respond to China’s activities in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.”