• AFP thanks Japan for stance on sea row

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    THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is hoping that a paper released by Japan’s Defense Ministry can generate “collective action” that will ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

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    Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, on Friday said the AFP is very thankful that the ministry has taken interest in the situation in the West Philippine Sea that he described as “very reassuring to us.”

    Padilla was referring to Japan’s defense paper that noted China’s “assertive measures” to press territorial claims in the East and South China seas.

    “Having seen this [paper], we see this increasing awareness and increasing level of awareness on the issue can hopefully generate collective action [in]activities that will increase assuring freedom of navigation[al]security and add stability to the region that will be beneficial to peace-loving nations in this region,” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City (Metro Manila).

    “Japan cares for security of commons We are all linked up,” Padilla pointed out.
    He reiterated that the freedom of navigation in the region is vital not only to the Philippines but also to countries whose trade passes through the disputed South China Sea.

    “If we can guarantee security in all aspects, economic activity will go unhampered. The amount of trade that can be found here and elsewhere is high and will affect all economies. It is important to make sure the security of commons is always guaranteed,” Padilla said.

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