Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recent five-day trip to Tokyo is arguably his most consequential sojourn overseas since taking power more than seven months ago.

By all accounts, it was a highly successful visit, which saw the Filipino leader securing $13 billion in investment pledges, $3 billion in infrastructure loans and a whole host of cooperation agreements aimed at boosting the Philippines’ agriculture, health care and digital economy sectors.

What’s more, the leaders of Japan and the Philippines also laid the foundations for a new era in bilateral defense cooperation that is poised to have major implications for the Indo-Pacific region. Shortly after Marcos’ decision to grant Washington expanded access to key Philippine bases facing the South China Sea and Taiwan, the Filipino leader also confirmed ongoing discussions over a new tripartite Philippine-U.S.-Japan security deal.