Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visits Japan © Thomson Reuters  

DW: Japan and Philippines agree to boost military ties 

The two island nations have taken a first step in what could become a wide-ranging defensive cooperation. It comes amid rising tensions and Chinese influence in the region. 

The leaders of Japan and the Philippines signed a defensive agreement on Thursday in Tokyo which aims to boost the military cooperation between the two island nations. 

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr met with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida during a visit to Japan. Both are looking to curb China’s rising geopolitical influence in the region. 

The arrangement will see Japanese soldiers join natural and humanitarian disaster response training exercises in the Philippines. It has been seen as a first step towards broader defensive cooperation.  

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Update #1: Japan, Philippines agree to sharply boost defense ties (AP)

Update #2: Japan, Philippines pledge closer security ties amid China tensions (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: According to the U.S., everyone in Asia is banding together to counter an aggressive China and North Korea …. U.S. and allies in Asia ready for ‘aggression’ from China, North Korea, general says (PBS/AP).