MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s visit to Japan is significant because Tokyo is an essential defense and economic partner of Manila, an expert said Wednesday.
According to Manila-based geopolitical analyst Don Mclain Gill, Marcos' face-to-face visit will set the tone in expanding strategic relations with Japan.
"Based on contemporary trends in the international and regional geopolitical landscape, Japan is a natural and highly crucial defense and economic partner of the Philippines, wherein both states converge in the maintenance of the established rules-based order and also share similar threat perception, particularly towards a rising China," he said.
The Philippines must harness partnerships with like-minded Indo-Pacific nations as Japan to promote a more equitable security framework in the region, Gill told ANC's "Headstart"..
Marcos departed for Japan on Wednesday for a 3-day visit where he is expected to seek stronger security and economic ties with Tokyo.
Japan and the Philippines are expected to sign 7 key agreements on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, infrastructure, agriculture, and digital transformation during Marcos' visit.
Marcos is also expected to meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and hold an audience with Emperor Naruhito.
His first visit to Japan comes after Manila announced last week a deal to give US troops access to another 4 bases in "strategic areas" in the Philippines.
"My bilateral visit to Japan is essential," Marcos said in his departure statement.
"It is part of a larger foreign policy agenda to forge closer political ties, stronger defense and security cooperation, as well as lasting economic partnerships with major counties in the region amid a challenging global environment," he continued.