Japan, Philippines to Sign Security Pact by Year-End: Envoy

World

Washington, April 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan and the Philippines will possibly sign a reciprocal access agreement by the end of this year to facilitate visits to each other's country by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Philippine military, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said in an online interview on Wednesday.

Tangible results, including the signing of the RAA, will come "shortly after" a summit of leaders from Japan, the United States and the Philippines in Washington on April 11 "or maybe before the end of the year," Romualdez said.

He said the three nations are expected to conduct joint maritime exercises on a regular basis.

At the three-way summit, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are expected to agree to promote economic and security cooperation to counter China's maritime expansion in the South China Sea.

The summit will emphasize "the closeness of our relationship," Romualdez said.

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