Philippines, Japan discuss maritime issues

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TWO countries with a common rival in China met on Wednesday in Manila for the 7th Philippines-Japan Political-Military Meeting with maritime security as one of the agenda.

“During the dialogue, the delegations exchanged views on their respective countries’ national security policies and current regional issues. Further cooperation on maritime security as well as humanitarian assistance/disaster response were discussed,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Japan is presently engaged in a tense territorial dispute with China at the East China Sea with both claiming it as part of their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

On the other hand, the Philippines has an arbitration case against China at the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Arbitral Tribunal
over conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Last November, the Philippines supported Japan on the heels of China’s establishment of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at the East China Sea, wherein foreign aircraft flying over there must identify themselves and follow Chinese instructions.

“China’s East Asia Sea ADIZ transforms the entire air zone into its domestic airspace, infringes on the right to freedom of flight in international airspace and compromises the safety of civil aviation and national security of affected states,” the DFA earlier said.

DFA Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Ma. Theresa Lazaro and Department of National Defense (DND) Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment Raymund Jose Quilop led the Philippine delegation along with other officials from the DFA, DND, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Japanese delegation was headed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Deputy Director General Kenji Kanasugi, the Ministry of Defense and the Embassy of Japan in Manila.

The Political-Military and Military-to-Military (PM/MM) Meeting was established in 2006 and is presently one of the annual bilateral mechanisms between the Philippines and Japan.

The last PM/MM Meeting was held in Tokyo in May last year. (HDT/Sunnex)

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