Philippines, Japan still discussing visiting forces accord

Kyodo News

Posted at Oct 11 2018 02:32 AM

The Philippines and Japan are still discussing an agreement that would allow Japan's defense forces to routinely use military bases on Philippine soil, a visiting Japanese defense official said Wednesday.

The agreement, the idea of which was proposed under the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino between 2010 and 2016, is being discussed at a "policy" level of the two governments, Maj. Gen. Satoru Nomura of the Ground Self-Defense Force told Kyodo News.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony marking the end of a 10-day joint defense exercise that involved troops of the Philippines, the United States and Japan, Nomura, director of bilateral coordination at the GSDF's Ground Component Command, said Tokyo and Manila are continuing to coordinate on the subject.

Around 100 GSDF troops participated in the exercise, dubbed "Kamandag" (venom), along with more than 1,000 U.S. and Philippine soldiers.

The exercise included counter-terrorism drills, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations on and off the coast of the country's main island of Luzon.

Participating troops used armored amphibious vehicles and support aircraft, and engaged in live-fire exercises during simulations.