Philippines-Japan relations

Defense, security issues get spotlight as Manila hosts 2+2 meet with Japan 

Bea Cupin

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Defense, security issues get spotlight as Manila hosts 2+2 meet with Japan 

PARTNERS. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hold a bilateral meeting in Malacanang on November 3, 2023.

Yummie Dingding/PPA POOL

(1st UPDATE) The Reciprocal Access Agreement between the Philippines and Japan may be signed during the second 2+2 meeting

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will be hosting the second 2+2 foreign and defense ministerial meeting with Japan in July, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a release on Friday, June 28.

According to the DFA, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. will be meeting with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa and Minister of Defense Minoru Kihara on July 8, 2024.

“The four Ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and defense and security issues affecting the region, and exchange views on regional and international issues,” said the DFA.

Manalo and Teodoro will also be holding separate bilateral meetings with their Japanese counterparts “to discuss areas of mutual concern.”

The first 2+2 meeting with Japan was hosted by Tokyo in April 2022.

“The 2+2 Foreign and Defense Ministers Meeting is the highest consultative mechanism between the PH and JP to date. It is a platform to further strengthen the decade-old Strategic Partnership of PH and Japan,” said the DFA.

The Philippines and Japan are due to sign the Reciprocal Access Agreement, a deal that allows military or defense personnel from each country to set foot on each others’ soil for activities such as joint exercises. It was expected to be signed by March 2024 but Philippine officials have since said they hope to sign the document by the end of 2024.

The RAA may be signed during the 2+2 meeting, Rappler has learned.

Philippine and Japan ties – especially in defense – have grown even closer in recent years. In April, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended the first leaders’ trilateral summit in Washington with his counterparts from the United States and Japan.

Meanwhile, in a Reuters report, a Japanese lawmaker and former defense minister said on Friday he is hopeful that a reciprocal troop pact between Japan and the Philippines will be ratified during a ministerial meeting in Manila in July.

Japanese Diet lawmaker Itsunori Onodera also told a press conference in Manila that challenges in the South China Sea are legitimate concerns of the international community, Japanese Diet lawmaker Itsunori Onodera told a press conference. with reports from Reuters/ 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.