The Philippines is the Southeast Asian country most at odds with Beijing over the West Philippine sea (South China Sea). With this, it triggers Japan to help the ill equip military of the Philippines in order to protect itself from China’s aggression.
According to a Reuter’s report an agreement is set to concur this week between Japan and the Philippines on a deal that would allow Japan to supply the country with used military hardware and equipment, possibly an aircraft that could be deployed to patrol the disputed West Philippine sea, sources said.
Prime Minister Abe and President Aquino will meet and discuss the deal in principle on military technology on the sidelines after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.
For the first time in the history, Japan has agreed to a deal specifically donate military equipment to another nation and is the most recent sample of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s more solid security plan.
The deal won’t include specific aid for now, Japan may begin by supplying three units, Beechcraft TC-90 King Air planes currently used to train Japanese Self Defense Force pilots that can be fitted with basic surface and air surveillance radar. According to sources with knowledge of the previous plan.
That may then be followed by two used Lockheed Martin submarine-hunting “P-3C Orion” patrol planes, they said.
Japan is also building 10 vessels for the Philippine coastguard as a soft loan package.
To allow Japan’s first direct donation of military equipment, Japanese lawmakers will either have to tweak financial regulations that require officials to sell second-hand government-owned equipment at fair market value, or establish a financing mechanism outside overseas development aid, which can’t be used for military purposes.
Tokyo has no claims in the disputed West Philippine sea but is worried about China’s growing military assertiveness into South China sea. A waterway through which much of Japan’s ship-borne trade passes. -Carl E.