The Philippines and Japan renewed cooperation in the field of defense during the first Philippines-Japan Defense Industry Forum held in Taguig City.
“The inaugural Philippines-Japan Defense Industry Forum aims to promote defense equipment cooperation between our countries with the goal of contributing to each of our countries’ respective mandates and responsibilities,” Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna said in his speech.
Hosted by the International Cooperation Division of the Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Japan, the forum was attended by defense industry and government stakeholders from the Philippines and Japan to discuss and exchange opinions, information, and experiences about both countries’ policies and procedures in doing business, specifically in the procurement and export of defense equipment, material and technologies.
Luna stressed that as the Philippines values the increasing and enduring defense alliance with Japan, the commitment to enhance its defense posture is further strengthened to guard against internal security issues and external maritime threats.
“We, at the Department of National Defense, fully support the recent amendment of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces Act that would allow the Japanese government and its Ministry of Defense ‘the needed flexibilities’ for the Japanese military force to play ‘a greater or increased role’ in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region by exporting quality defense equipment to foreign countries, like the Philippines,” Luna said.
In March the Philippines received spare parts for UH-IH “Huey” helicopters from Japan’s Defense Ministry, making it the first member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to receive excess Japanese defense equipment.
Aside from improving Manila-Tokyo ties, the event is also beneficial for the Modernization Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to “transition itself to a credible and professional defense institution,” as it provides an opportunity for the Defense Acquisition System Teams/Technical Working Groups to learn and understand Japan’s defense technologies, thus expanding the “competitive alternatives for the AFP Modernization projects.” (PNA)