PH and Japan Hold Defense Ministerial Talks

Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin and Japanese Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto signed a Statement of Intent on Defense Cooperation on 2 July 2012 and expressed their mutual desire to deepen the defense relations of the Philippines and Japan.

As Secretary Gazmin noted, while senior officials between the two countries have been consulting with each other on issues of mutual concern and exchanges of defense and military personnel have been undertaken, the defense cooperation document is expected to further boost defense cooperation between the two countries. Minister Morimoto acknowledged that Secretary Gazmin is the first defese secretary from the Philippines to visit Japan in eleven years.

In the bilateral meeting that followed after the signing of the agreement, the two ministers exchanged views on how the Philippines and Japan could cooperate in defense-related matters and discussed regional security issues specifically maritime security. Japan emphasized the need to maintain freedom of navigation in maritime areas and conveyed its support for the Philippines position of primacy of international law in addressing disputes in the West Philippine Sea.