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Marcos: Reciprocal access deal with Japan to bring greater capacity in maintaining peace in WPS

President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. said over the weekend that the planned Reciprocal Access Agreement with Japan will bring greater capacity in ensuring peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The President made the remark during his bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday at the sidelines of the 50th Commemorative Summit of the ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in Tokyo.

“We are in agreement that we considered to be extremely significant between our two countries is Reciprocal Access Agreement that will give us a greater capability in terms of not only security but also in terms of disaster preparedness, alleviation, and adjustment,” Marcos said.

“And that is something that is I believe is very, very significant and that it will bring to us greater capacity to maintain the peace in [the South China Sea],” he added.

The Philippines includes areas of the South China Sea that falls within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as part of the West Philippine Sea.

Marcos also said the strengthening relationship between the two countries has been exemplified by the Official Security Assistance (OSA) that have been agreed upon as a result of the establishment of a strategic partnership between Manila and Tokyo.

In November, Marcos and Kishida decided to start negotiations for the proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement between the two countries.

The proposed reciprocal access pact will be like the Visiting Forces Agreement the Philippines has with the United States.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro has said the key security pact with Japan would boost defense cooperation amid concerns over escalating tensions in the South China Sea. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News