In a video teleconference with the Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Department of National Defense (DND), Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday conveyed the Philippines’ commitment to strengthen its strategic partnership with Japan.
“Secretary Lorenzana conveyed the commitment of the Department of National Defense to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries, extending his invitation to Minister Kishi to visit the Philippines for an official visit when conditions improve, and travel restrictions are lifted,” said DND.
During the meeting, Lorenzana and Kishi discussed various aspects of the defense partnership between the Philippines and Japan, especially on the two countries’ capacity-building efforts, regional security cooperation, and measures undertaken to counter COVID-19 pandemic. The two government officials also agreed to further bilateral cooperation, especially on technology transfer and capacity-building. Both defense ministers also discussed the various multilateral security and defense efforts facilitated through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Moreover, both sides also reiterated the importance of upholding the principles of freedom of navigation in the region, with Lorenzana stating that the Philippines firmly promotes addressing territorial and jurisdictional disputes in the West Philippine Sea by peaceful means.
“We call on concerned parties to desist from any action and activity that contravenes the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), as these generate tension, mistrust, and uncertainty, and threatens regional peace and stability,” Lorenzana said, adding that as the Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-China Dialogue Partnership from 2018 to 2021, “the Philippines remains firmly committed to working with other ASEAN Members and Plus Countries and China towards the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct.”