Philippines, Japan to sign troop access pact in Malacañang Monday

2024 July 8

MANILA – The Philippines and Japan will sign on Monday the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), a landmark agreement that will allow both countries to deploy troops to each territory.

The signing of the RAA is set in Malacañang Palace in Manila shortly after the courtesy call of Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and Defense Minister Kihara Minoru on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. 

The Philippine-Japan RAA is a commitment made at the inaugural PH-Japan Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting or 2+2 in April 2022. 

The girst formal negotiations were held in Tokyo on Nov. 29 and 30, 2023.

A virtual line-by-line reading of the RAA main text, the Agreed Minutes, and two records of discussions were held on June 11. 

Foreign Minister Kamikawa and Defense Minister Kihara are currently in the Philippines for the 2nd Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (2+2), the highest consultative mechanism to further deepen security and defense policy coordination and security cooperation between the two countries. 

The Philippines and Japan celebrate 68 years of normalized relations this year and 12 years of strengthened strategic partnership. 

Japan is one of the Philippines’ four Strategic Partners with 264 bilateral agreements. 

Once signed, the treaty will have to be ratified by the legislative bodies of the two countries before it comes into force.

The Philippines has been strengthening defense and security engagements with its longstanding military ally, the United States, as well as other countries, while also beefing up the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines amid increasing Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea. 

Darryl John Esguerra (PNA)