Japan, Philippines in final stages of talks on security aid

November 1, 2023 - 3:36 PM
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A Philippine flag flutters from BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999 and became a Philippine military detachment on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. (Reuters/Erik De Castro/File Photo/File Photo)

— Japan’s top government spokesperson said on Wednesday that Japan is in the final stages of negotiations with the Philippines on what equipment to offer to Manila and when to sign an agreement under Tokyo’s official security assistance programme.

The program is aimed at helping boost deterrence capabilities of Tokyo’s partner countries.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno made the comment to reporters ahead of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to the Philippines on Friday.

– Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jacqueline Wong