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Monday, June 24, 2024

DND, JICA to boost maritime security ties in Asia

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THE Department of National Defense (DND) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have agreed to boost maritime security cooperation amid the brewing tension in the region.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro welcomed JICA director-general Tanaka Hiroo and Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko who called on his at the DND headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“Highlighting the importance of sustaining regional peace and stability, Secretary Teodoro reaffirmed the DND and AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) full commitment to working with JICA in identifying maritime security cooperation projects while adopting a holistic approach to address traditional and non-traditional security concerns for long-term economic development,” DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said.

Andolong said the meeting discussed, among other issues, potential cooperation on information sharing, hardware and software support, and technical assistance.

“The meeting was intended to determine how the Japanese government, through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Official Security Assistance (OSA), could further contribute to enhancing the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness capabilities,”  he added.

During the state visit to the Philippines of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio last November, the Philippines and Japan also exchanged notes on Japan’s OSA worth 600 million yen or P235.5 million grant aid of coastal surveillance radars.

Moreover, the two countries also talked about the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) raised during President Ferdinand Marcos’ trip to Tokyo last December.

Marcos previously announced that he and the Japanese Prime Minister have mutually agreed to expedite the finalization of discussions on the proposed RAA.

He emphasized that the Philippines remains committed to engaging in dialogues with other like-minded nations to address concerns in the South China Sea.

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