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Japan has begun providing the Philippine military with lifesaving equipment adopted by the Self-Defense Forces, according to defense and foreign ministry officials, making it the first time that Tokyo has offered SDF equipment to a foreign military through official development assistance (ODA).

The supply of the equipment, which is also available for civilian use, is intended to strengthen defense ties with the Philippines, as the two countries are faced with China’s assertive claims in the East and South China seas.

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