Japan military chief wants information sharing, amphibious landing exercises with Philippines

Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) chief of staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano on Friday said there is a need for the Philippines and Japan to improve their humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR)cooperation. “Aside from defense equipment cooperation, Admiral Kawano stressed the importance of capacity building cooperation with the Philippines, particularly on matters concerning HA/DR,” Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez said.

The Japanese military official also acknowledged that the conduct of staff-to-staff talks between the JSDF and Armed Forces of the Philippines would enable the two countries to discuss potential areas of cooperation.

“He also raised the need to share information to address common security issues. He expressed his belief that Japan and Philippines share the same values,” Galvez said.

“Admiral Kawano also expressed interest in conducting more exercises with the Philippines in the future, particularly amphibious landing exercises and amphibious operations. The SND (Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin) has welcomed Admiral Kawano’s interest in more activities with the Philippines, emphasizing that with regard to conducting such activities, a VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) with Japan would be needed,” Galvez said.

“On regional security issues, he mentioned that China is attempting to change the status quo in the region with its reclamation activities. In response, the SND pointed out that stronger defense relations between the two countries will promote security and stability in the region,” Galvez added.