Lorenzana meets with Japan defense minister in Tokyo

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, April 17.

In a statement released on Thursday, the DND said Lorenzana "reaffirmed" the defense department's "commitment" to the partnership between the countries.

In 2015, the Philippines and Japan signed a defense cooperation memorandum which covered increased exchanges and visits between the two countries' armed forces and more meetings among security officials.

The DND said Lorenzana and Iwaya agreed to "deepen exchanges" towards humanitarian assistance and disaster response. The two also agreed to aid each other in ship repairs and maintenance, and to share knowledge on "airmanship" between their air forces.

Lorenzana's visit comes amid reports of more Chinese vessels intruding into Philippine waters. It is unclear whether matters pertaining to the South China Sea were discussed among the officials.

Lorenzana then thanked Iwaya for Japan's donation to the Philippines of 5 TC-90 aircraft units, spare parts, and maintenance equipment.

Philippine and Japanese defense officials will meet again sometime 2019 in the Philippines, as the country hosts the 6th Philippines-Japan Vice-Ministers' Defense Dialogue. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.