The Japanese government is hoping that it can conclude agreements with the Philippines and Vietnam by the end of the year on sharing and protecting classified defense information, according to Nikkei.
The pacts would allow both the countries’ armed forces to share vital information on other nation’s troop movements and defense equipment.
The Japanese government is aiming to strengthen the defense cooperation with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to counter China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
If agreements with the Philippines and Vietnam are signed, it would be the first defense information pacts between Japan and an ASEAN Member.
Japan will be able to share information on Chinese forces movements in the South China Sea, where both the Philippines and Vietnam have territorial issue with China. Since the Philippines doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to Navies and Air Forces, that’s why Japan is considering whether to provide the Philippines with aircraft and other military equipment used by its Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Defense Minister Gen Nakatani of Japan is planning to visit the Philippines and Vietnam early this year to discuss sharing of military information.
The Japanese government has concluded similar security information agreements with the US, UK, France, India, Australia and NATO. -John Esconde