Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. held talks in the Philippines on the 3rd of November 2023 and agreed to start negotiations on a Reciprocal Troop Access deal between the troops of the nations.
The leaders of both nations agreed to coordinate closely with the United States and shared concerns over the changing maritime status quo in the region. The deal is in response to the unacceptable attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the East and South China Seas.
President Marcos stated during the presentation of the agreements between the nations that he would like to recall their commitment to work on a framework for the Status of Visiting Forces or proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan. He mentioned that they were cognizant of the benefits of having this arrangement, both for their personnel and for maintaining peace and stability in the region. As leaders of like-minded states, he affirmed their commitment to peaceful negotiations to resolve maritime conflicts and the need for a stable and secure environment for mutually inclusive growth and development for their peoples.
The reciprocal troop access deal between Japan and the Philippines will enable their troops to visit each other’s countries for training and exchange of defense equipment to increase cooperation interoperability and efficiency of the troops. The pact benefits both countries in strengthening their military cooperation amid rising tensions in the region.
The pact will further enhance the military capabilities of both nations and strengthen their ability to respond to security challenges in the region. The pact enhances regional security and with U.S. assistance counter-balances China’s growing involvement and presence in the region.