Japan has begun providing the Philippine military with lifesaving equipment to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The Japanese Defense Ministry said the deal includes delivery of disaster relief supplies such as jackhammers, sonar, and engine cutters. Personnel from Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force will also be sent to train units of the Philippine military.
Japan’s decision to provide lifesaving equipment was made possible under Official Development Assistance to support foreign armed forces in non-combat operations such as disaster relief.
Defense and foreign ministry officials said this is the first time that Tokyo has offered Self-Defense Force equipment to the armed forces of another country.
“We hope the provision of the aid will deepen bilateral relations with a strategically important regional partner,” a foreign ministry official stated.
Japan, Other Countries Help PH Force Modernize
Between 2016 and 2018, the Philippines received 10 Japanese-made vessels, which are used by the coast guard to patrol its coastline. Two more such vessels will be deployed in 2022.
The government of Pakistan also announced its willingness to share military equipment such as arms, ammunition, and drones with the Southeast Asian country to boost their alliance.
“We have some of the best equipment manufactured in the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra…” Pakistani Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi remarked. “We can share with all friendly countries to whatever extent we can for the interest of the promotion of peace and to eliminate terrorism.”
In addition to Japan and Pakistan, the Philippine navy is exploring ways to collaborate with the Turkish government to modernize its military.
“They are particularly interested in providing capability and technology solutions and [to] be able to participate in the different acquisition projects for naval vessels and other defense equipment,” Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said of Turkey.