DND officer in charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) officer in charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. met with his Japanese and Australian counterparts to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

In a statement Wednesday, DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Faustino's meetings with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukasu Hamada and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles took place on the sidelines of his official visit to Hawaii in the United States on Sept. 30 to attend the meeting organized by the US Indo-Pacific Command.

"The discussions during the meeting revolved around the current security developments in the region, particularly the situation in the South and East China Seas, and ways to strengthen Philippines-Japan bilateral defense cooperation through possible conduct of maritime cooperative activities, technology transfers, and dialogues at all levels, in order to address shared security challenges and advance cooperation," Andolong said.

He added that Faustino and Hamada agreed to discuss other frameworks of cooperation that would further expand and deepen Philippines-Japan bilateral relations and support each country's efforts in "ensuring a secure and stable environment."

Department of National Defense (DND) officer in charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. (right) and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukasu Hamada (left) (Photo courtesy of Japan Ministry of Defense)

The two also described the meeting as timely and an important follow-on engagement from the meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September to further discuss future cooperative activities in defense and security.

Meanwhile, Faustino and Marles exchanged views on the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Department of National Defense (DND) officer in charge Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. (left) and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles (right) (Photo courtesy of Australian Government Department of Defence)

"They also explored ways to strengthen Philippines-Australia bilateral defense relations through maritime cooperation activities, counter-terror trainings, education, and professionalization opportunities, as well as dialogues and consultations to address shared security challenges and advance common interests," Andolong said.

The two officials also tackled prospects for multilateral training activities with like-minded countries in addressing traditional and non-traditional security concerns, he added. (PNA)