United front? Defense pact up for discussion


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OFF TO JAPAN: President Benigno Aquino III is open to a defense treaty with Japan. File photo from Malacañang

President Benigno Aquino is leaving for Japan for the ASEAN-Japan commemorative summit, where the two countries will discuss a possible defense treaty. Aquino said he is open to a possible pact with Japan in the wake of growing tension in the West Philippines Sea better know as the South China Sea. Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera said they are looking at a “framework agreement” to be able to deploy troops faster in situations like in typhoon Yolanda. In his visit to Manila, Onodera highlighted the need for a peaceful resolution of the regional conflict with various countries concerned about China’s Air Defense Identification Zone which it established over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japan also promised to help the Philippines defend its territory.

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