Philippine President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday signed a joint declaration enhancing the two countries’ strategic partnership.
The Tokyo Declaration also casts in stone exchanging defense materiel, undertaking more joint training exercises and ensuring maritime safety and security in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
Aquino and Abe signed the five-page declaration at the end of their bilateral talks Thursday evening at the Akasaka Palace.
The declaration also covered stronger “collaboration for economic growth” in the Asia-Pacific, and the pursuit of “enduring peace” in Mindanao.
At a joint news conference, Abe issued a statement condemning China’s reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea.
“We once again confirm that we share serious concern about the large-scale land reclamation, and that we oppose attempts to unilaterally change the status quo,” he said.
The prime minister also again expressed support for the arbitration case the Philippines filed against China before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.
“We also agreed to thoroughly uphold the principle of the rule of law, and I once again conveyed our support for the utilization of the arbitration procedures by the Philippines,” he said.