Japan PM Kishida Joins Forces with Philippines & U.S. to Safeguard South China Sea

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida Commits to Protect Freedom of South China Sea

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, during his official visit to the Philippines, announced on Saturday that Japan, the Philippines, and the United States are collaborating to safeguard the freedom of the South China Sea. In his address before the Philippine congress in Manila, Kishida emphasized the ongoing trilateral cooperation aimed at protecting the sea’s freedom.

Strengthening Security in the Region

During his visit, Kishida engaged in discussions with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., where the two leaders agreed to commence negotiations on a reciprocal troop access deal. The objective of this initiative is to reinforce military cooperation between the two countries in response to China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Both the Philippines and Japan, recognized as close allies of the United States in Asia, have adopted a firm stance against what they perceive as provocative actions by Chinese vessels in the long-standing maritime sovereignty disputes.

Recent Tensions in the South China Sea

Last month, tensions between China and the Philippines escalated when both countries traded accusations following a collision in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. Chinese vessels obstructed Philippine boats supplying forces in the area, intensifying the already strained situation.

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China’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea, which encompasses portions of the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, has been deemed illegitimate by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016.

Separate Maritime Dispute in the East China Sea

While Japan does not assert any claims in the South China Sea, it faces a separate maritime dispute with China in the East China Sea. This issue further exemplifies the complex geopolitical dynamics present in the region.

As the situation in the South China Sea continues to evolve, the collaborative efforts of Japan, the Philippines, and the United States aim to protect the freedom of navigation and ensure stability in one of the world’s busiest waterways.

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