MANILA, Philippines – Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his country’s commitment to helping the Southeast Asian bloc, pledging money to to “enhance maritime law enforcement capacity,” as well as assist countries “in response to the rising threat of terrorism in Asia.”
Abe made the pledges on November 13, 2017, during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan Summit in Manila. The Japanese prime minister praised the regional bloc, saying it provides a “model for the world” when it comes to regional cooperation.
The prime minister said Japan is pledging 55 billion yen or over US$ 483 over 3 years “for the purpose of enhancing maritime law enforcement capacities.” Abe said this would include “capacity-building support and training” by the Japanese Coast Guard and its Self-Defense Force.
Japan's Press Secretary, Norio Mayurama, in a press briefing following the summit, repeatedly emphasized that disputes in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) was an issue of the "rule of law."
Abe also promised to help ASEAN and its members in other key issues including the reconstruction of Marawi, a city in the Philippines recently liberated from an attempted takeover by ISIS-supported local terror groups. Japan also promised to help Myanmar "improve the situation" in Rakhine State, where the Muslim minority group Rohingya have faced persecution and rights abuses.
Japan is a key ally of the regional bloc, including the Philippines, the summit’s host this year. – Rappler.com