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Philippines to review tripartite agreement with US, Japan —Marcos

TOKYO — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has said the government will review a possible “tripartite agreement” with the Philippines’ two close allies, the United States and Japan.

Marcos made the remark in an interview with Japan’s Kyodo News, according to the Presidential Communications Office.

The PCO said the President told Kyodo News that “many other issues” raised by the Philippine delegation in Tokyo are fostering alliances with its long-time partners.

“It is something that we certainly are going to be studying upon my return to the Philippines,” Marcos said.

“I think just part of the continuing process of strengthening our alliances because in this rather confusing, and I dare say dangerous situations, that we have, I’m not talking only about the South China Sea, I’m not only talking about the Indo-Pacific region but, of course, there is a conflict still ongoing in Ukraine and the rather disturbing effects that it has all around the world,” he said.

The President added that a tripartite agreement with the country’s two allies is a “continuing and ongoing” process to make more “solid partnerships and alliances that we are beginning to put together in our areas.”

“So that is, I think, a central element to…providing some sort of stability in the face of all these problems that we are seeing around us,” Marcos said.

Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have earlier agreed to bolster Manila and Tokyo’s defense and security relations.

The two Asian leaders agreed to have further bilateral discussions on addressing regional and international situations, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. 

In a joint statement, Marcos and Kishida resolved to “increase the defense capabilities of their own countries, and further strengthen overall security cooperation.”

This will be done through strategic reciprocal port calls and aircraft visits, transfer of more defense equipment and technology, continuous cooperation on previously-transferred defense equipment, and capacity building. —KG, GMA Integrated News