Japan's Prime Minister Kishida visits Philippines, holds summit with Marcos

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio appears to have agreed with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that Tokyo will provide Manila with surveillance radars under a new security assistance program.

Kishida met with Marcos in Manila on Friday.

Kishida said at the outset of the talks that Japan and the Philippines are both maritime nations and strategic partners who share the basic principles and values.

Noting that the international community faces multiple crises, Kishida said he hopes to enhance cooperation to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, and ensure a world where human dignity is protected.

Kishida is believed to have agreed with Marcos on a deal to provide coastal surveillance radars under Japan's Official Security Assistance framework.

It will be the first time for Japan to apply the framework since it was launched in April to provide defense equipment and other supplies to like-minded countries to enhance security cooperation, with China's increasing maritime activities in mind.

The leaders are believed to have confirmed that their countries will start negotiations to conclude a Reciprocal Access Agreement. The agreement is designed to arrange in advance numerous details needed for Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the Philippine military to conduct joint drills and other activities.

They are also believed to have confirmed that their countries will deepen economic cooperation, including investment in infrastructure.

Kishida is also likely to have asked for help to stage a successful special summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Tokyo in December.