Philippines hopes to sign troops pact with Japan in Q1

January 16, 2024 - 4:20 PM
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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the start go their talks at prime minister?s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 09 February 2023. (Kimimasa Mayama/Pool via Reuters)

 The Philippines hopes to sign in the first quarter of the year an agreement with Japan allowing the deployment of military forces on each other’s soil, Manila’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

The Philippines is strengthening its ties with neighbors and other countries to counter what it calls an increasingly aggressive Beijing in the South China Sea.

The Philippines and Canada are also working on a memorandum of understanding for enhanced defense cooperation, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters on the sidelines of a cybersecurity forum.

Japan and the Philippines, two close allies of the United States, started negotiations on a reciprocal troop access deal in November.

READ: Japan, Philippines agree to hold talks on reciprocal troops pact

— Reporting by Karen Lema; Writing by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor