At their meeting in Manila, Kishida and Marcos confirmed that they will begin negotiations on a new bilateral treaty, known as a reciprocal access agreement (RAA), to strengthen security ties and facilitate joint defence drills, according to their joint press conference.
In late October, Manila and Beijing blamed one another over a collision involving their vessels in the South China Sea, home to some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
During his talks with Marcos, Kishida promised to provide the Philippines with coastal surveillance radar under a new support framework for like-minded nations that share values such as the rule of law and respect for basic human rights, they said.
Japan has designated four Asia-Pacific countries – Bangladesh, Fiji, Malaysia and the Philippines – as recipients of the grant programme, called official security assistance, or OSA, earmarking 2 billion yen (US$13 million) for the financial year through March 2024.
On Saturday, Kishida is slated to become the first Japanese premier to deliver a speech at the Philippine parliament, in which he is certain to address Tokyo’s basic policy on Southeast Asian diplomacy for the future, the government said.
The two leaders may exchange views on ways to promote diplomatic and defence cooperation, as Kuala Lumpur, along with Manila and other Asean nations, has overlapping territorial claims with Beijing in the South China Sea, government sources said.