PH, Japan defense chiefs meet in Tokyo

By Priam Nepomuceno

April 22, 2019, 12:34 pm

MANILA -- In line with the efforts to strengthen the country's defense relations, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya had a meeting in Tokyo last April 17.

In a statement over the weekend, DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the latest Tokyo visit of the DND chief is a manifestation of the robust relations between the Philippines and Japan.

As Japan pioneers the Reiwa era (name of the era to start on May 1), Lorenzana reaffirmed the DND’s commitment to contribute in strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries towards advancing shared principles of peace, security, and growth, through the implementation of the 2015 Memorandum on Defense Cooperation and Exchanges.

Both sides welcomed increasing cooperation at all levels across major services and agreed to deepen exchanges in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster response between ground forces, ship repair and maintenance between maritime forces, and professional airmanship between air forces.

They also agreed to bolster cooperation in terms of capacity building, as well as defense industry and logistics. Lorenzana also expressed appreciation for the turnover of five TC-90 aircraft and UH-1H spare parts and maintenance equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines from the Japan Self-Defense Force.

At the multilateral level, both defense chiefs attached great importance to the pursuit of practical cooperation through the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus framework, which is the highest defense consultative and cooperative mechanism between ASEAN and eight of its dialogue partners.

Lorenzana also welcomed the scheduled goodwill visit of JSDF’s largest destroyer, JS Izumo, in July, aside from looking forward to the DND’s hosting of the 6th Philippines-Japan Vice Ministers’ Defense Dialogue this year. (PNA)