TOKYO—The foreign ministers of Japan and the Philippines agreed Tuesday to deepen their security cooperation in the face of China's growing maritime assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his Filipino counterpart, Enrique Manalo, also agreed to bolster trilateral cooperation involving the United States, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said after the two met in Tokyo.
The ministers welcomed progress in Japan's defense equipment transfer to the Philippines, according to the ministry.
In April, Japan decided to provide equipment to the armed forces of "like-minded" countries that share its values to improve their defense capabilities in a framework called official security assistance, or OSA.
It plans to provide the Philippines with equipment for coastal surveillance in fiscal 2023.
According to the Japanese Embassy in Manila, Manalo also expressed appreciation for Toyko's efforts to include the perspective of the Indo-Pacific and areas of concern for non-G7 countries in its preparation for the G7 Hiroshima Summit.
Japan holds the G7 presidency this year.
"The two ministers went on to exchange views on matters of mutual interest in the region and the international community, and affirmed to work together closely on such issues as the situation in the East and South China Seas, economic coercion, the situation in Ukraine, and dealing with North Korea, including on the nuclear and missile issues, and the abductions issue," the embassy said in a statement.
Hayashi, meanwhile, reiterated Japan’s intention to support the Philippines' attainment of being an upper middle-income country. — with a report from ABS-CBN News