News / Asia

Philippines, Japan Pledge Tighter Cooperation

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (R) talks to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Manila, January 10, 2013.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (R) talks to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Manila, January 10, 2013.
Japan and the Philippines pledged to increase their maritime cooperation in the face of territorial disputes with China, an outcome of Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to the Philippines.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said after meetings with Kishida that the two shared “mutual concern” over developments in the South China Sea, according to the Philippine ABS-CBN news outlet.

Handout photograph shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Dec. 13, 2012.Handout photograph shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Dec. 13, 2012.
Handout photograph shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Dec. 13, 2012.
Handout photograph shows the disputed islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Dec. 13, 2012.
China and the Philippines both lay claim the Spratly Islands, where there are rich fisheries and possible oil and gas reserves. Japan is locked into a tense showdown with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

"On the political and security front, we agreed on strengthening policy dialogue, enhancing maritime cooperation and other measures," Kishida told reporters at a joint press conference.

Kishida went on to say that the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region is changing, making it important to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Numerous news outlets have reported that Japan is considering giving the Philippines 10 maritime patrol vessels, which could be delivered as early as 18 months from now.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Del Rosario said Japan has already helped the Philippine coast guard through human resource development, and has also helped augment its communications systems.

ABS-CBN reported that del Rosario reiterated that the Philippines is still seeking a peaceful resolution to its territorial disputes with China and will continue to do so through political, diplomatic and legal tracks.

According to Allen Carlson, an associate professor of government at Cornell University, it is not surprising that Japan and the Philippines, which have the most contentious disputes with China, would choose to come together to “represent rather direct displeasure with Beijing’s handling of maritime issues in the region.”

China’s Asian neighbors have traditionally been “hedging their bets” and trying to maintain good relations with both Washington and Beijing, Carlson said, but some have recently become less cautious.

“Over the past several years, as tensions in Asia have escalated, some have begun to stake out a less nuanced approach, choosing to take actions that are designed to balance against what is perceived as increased Chinese assertiveness, particularly in regard to territorial disputes,” he said.

“This being said, the current commitment to enhance cooperation between Tokyo and Manilla seems largely symbolic, and is unlikely to have any substantive impact on either country's disputes with China,” he said.  

Kishida and del Rosario also discussed increasing trade and tourism, and Kishida announced loans for two infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

Kishida’s first trip since being appointed foreign minister in Shinzo Abe’s cabinet also includes stops in Singapore, Brunei and Australia.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: heshukui from: china
January 13, 2013 4:42 AM
The Philippines, Japan is my iron man iron brothers, must strengthen their relationship!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs