Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin agreed Thursday to work closely on maritime security issues to address China’s growing assertiveness.
The defense chiefs also signed a note on defense cooperation and exchanges, while criticizing militants believed to belong to the Islamic State group who have threatened to kill a captured Japanese journalist.
According to Japanese officials, the two agreed during their talks in Tokyo to pursue peaceful resolutions and not coercion when dealing with possible conflicts in the South and East China seas.
Nakatani also agreed that the Self-Defense Forces will cooperate on helping develop staff in the Philippine forces when it comes to disaster preparedness, they said.
On Friday, the Philippine defense secretary will visit SDF bases in Okinawa, where he will inspect maritime and airspace surveillance activities. The SDF monitors China’s military activities around the Japanese-controlled, Chinese-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
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