TOKYO, Japan – (AFP) – Japan will lease five military aircraft to the Philippines in another sign of deepening security ties between the two strategic partners.
The move, which is seen as a counterweight to China’s growing military dominance in the Asian regions, will start within the year, said the Department of National Defense on Tuesday.
In a statement, Galvez said that Japanese Defense Minster Gen Nakatani made the commitment in a telephone call to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Monday.
Nakatani reaffirmed the transfer of the Maritime Self-Defense Force TC-90 aircraft which will be “useful for humanitarian assistance, disaster response and maritime security.”
The cost of the lease was not disclosed.
The planes, which will help in the training of pilots and aircraft mechanics, are also being eyes as surveillance aircraft.
This is the first time that Japan will be leasing military aircraft to another country after it lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports.
During the phone conversations, the two defense officials reiterated their mutual commitment to continue working together.
Nakatani stressed that the two countries’ bilateral relationship was crucial for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Galvez said that the two defense chiefs also agreed that bilateral cooperation was indispensable to both countries.
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