Visiting Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Friday that Manila and Tokyo will start discussions on signing a "visiting forces agreement" that could allow Japan to use bases there to refuel aircraft and vessels.

"We will be initiating all the diplomatic requirements to come up with a visiting forces agreement," Aquino told reporters at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, adding that he discussed initiating talks on the subject during his summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.

The pact would enable Japan to extend its military reach to the South China Sea, where Tokyo is reportedly considering conducting joint air patrols with the United States.