DND hosts Japan’s State Minister of Defense, bolstering bilateral strategic partnership in defense and security
Mon | April 29, 2024

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April 29, 2024 (Quezon City) – Upon the invitation of the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr., Japan’s State Minister of Defense, Hon. ONIKI Makoto, is in the Philippines for a three-day official visit from April 28-30, 2024, on behalf of Defense Minister of Japan, Hon. KIHARA Minoru.

Secretary Teodoro personally welcomed State Minister Oniki during the latter’s courtesy call at the DND, highlighting the increased defense interaction and cooperation between the Philippines and Japan towards the promotion of regional peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.

Secretary Teodoro extended his appreciation to Japan’s robust support for the Modernization Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as it implements the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept (CADC). The current Air Surveillance Radar System (ASRS) Project of the Philippine Navy, the Official Security Assistance (OSA) grant of coastal radars, as well as the transfer of TC-90 Beechcraft and UH-1H spare parts from Japan in previous years, were enumerated by Secretary Teodoro to have contributed to the enhancement of the AFP’s maritime domain awareness (MDA) capabilities.

Activities of the State Minister of Defense in the Philippines include a wreathlaying ceremony and a demonstration by the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion at the Libingan ng mga Bayani; attendance as an observer to one of the Philippines-US Balikatan Exercise; Acceptance, Turnover and Blessing Ceremony of a mobile radar system from Japan; and visit to the Naval Air Wing in Naval Base Heracleo Alano.

During a virtual meeting between Secretary Teodoro and Minister KIHARA on April 26, 2024, Minister KIHARA, who was initially set to visit the Philippines on the said dates, conveyed his deepest regrets to Secretary Teodoro for canceling his travel to the Philippines due to a domestic issue.

Nevertheless, the two top officials are set to meet at the Defense Ministers’ Quadrilateral Meeting of the Philippines, Japan, Australia and the US in Hawaii in May 2024 to explore ways to collaborate in addressing regional security developments based on shared priorities.