Em uma coletiva de imprensa após uma reunião com o primeiro-ministro, Shinzo Abe, o presidente filipino, Rodrigo Duterte, disse que espera que o Japão continue sendo uma importante parte da segurança marítima na região, incluindo o Mar Meridional da China, onde Manila e Pequim vêm sobrepondo reivindicações.
Na reunião, os líderes não mencionaram suas alianças com os Estados Unidos, mas, em um comunicado emitido mais tarde, ambos os lados reconheceram a importância de suas "redes de amizade e alianças", particularmente entre Tóquio e Manila.
O vice-chefe de gabinete japonês, Koichi Hagiuda, disse a repórteres que suas alianças com os EUA foram reconhecidas, embora não no papel.
Em sua segunda rodada de negociações entre aliados próximos, Duterte assegurou a Abe que não tem intenção de cortar os laços diplomáticos com os EUA, segundo Hagiuda.
Hoje, o Japão e as Filipinas assinaram acordos incluindo a provisão do Japão de duas embarcações da guarda costeiras e aviões de treino militar como parte da contribuição japonesa para aumentar a capacidade de segurança marítima das Filipinas.
O Japão também concordou em apoiar projetos de infraestrutura e agricultura nas Filipinas para ajudar no desenvolvimento econômico do arquipélago. Fonte: Associated Press.
AP Photo XEH116, XEH117, XEH113, XEH105, TKTT306, TKTT308, XEH106, XEH103,
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Eds: Updates with details, minor edits. Adds contributor. With AP Photos.
By MARI YAMAGUCHI
TOKYO (AP) _ The leaders of Japan and the Philippines agreed Wednesday to
cooperate in promoting regional peace and stability, and acknowledged the
importance of their alliances with the U.S., although a joint statement
focused largely on Japan's contribution to Philippine maritime security and
other projects totaling a 21 billion yen ($210 million) loan.
In a news conference, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, after his first
round of talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said he expected Japan
to continue being an important part of maritime security in the region,
including the South China Sea, where Manila and Beijing have overlapping
There, they did not mention their security alliances with the U.S. But in a
statement issued later, the two sides acknowledged the importance of ``their
network of friendship and alliances,'' particularly one between them. Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters that their alliances
with the U.S. were recognized, though not in writing.
Duterete, in his second round of talks only among close aides, reassured Abe that he has no intention to severe diplomatic ties with the U.S., Hagiuda
Since Duterte took office in June, Manila's relationship with Washington has quickly become strained.
Japan is a staunch U.S. ally and hosts 50,000 American troops, while Duterte has repeatedly spoken of distancing his country from Washington, often in crude terms.
The presence of U.S. troops in five Philippine military camps was established nder a security deal signed under Duterte's predecessor as a counter to
China's growing military assertiveness in the region.
Earlier Wednesday, Duterte said that he wants his country to be free of
foreign troops, possibly within two years. ``I want them out,'' he said.
``I want to be friends to China,'' he told an audience of businesspeople in
Tokyo. ``I do not need the arms. I do not want missiles established in my
country. I do not need to have the airports to host the bombers.''
As president, Duterte has reached out to Beijing while criticizing U.S.
foreign policy. His approach has caused consternation in both the U.S. and
Still, Abe welcomed Duterte's recent efforts to improve ties with China.
``The South China Sea issue is directly linked to the region's peace and
stability and a matter of interest for the entire international society,'' he
said. ``In that regard, Japan welcomes the effort of President Duterte
visiting China and endeavoring to improve the Philippine-China relations.''
Officials declined to provide details of their second round of talks, in which
Abe was expected to ask Duterte specifically about his foreign policy.
The Philippine leader spoke about the U.S. at the end of his prepared remarks
on economic development and investment, saying he was addressing what he knows
is ``what is in everybody's mind.''
``I may have ruffled the feelings of some, but that is how it is,'' he said.
``We will survive, without the assistance of America, maybe a lesser quality
of life, but as I said, we will survive.''
Duterte has announced cancelling planned joint military exercises with the
United States, and preparatory meetings for next year's joint combat exercises
between American and Filipino forces in the Philippines have been shrouded in
Explaining his policy, Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay, also in
Tokyo, said Duterte respects all bilateral security agreements with the U.S.
and that he has no intention to renege or breach them, but the exercises are
not helpful in fostering Manila's friendly relations with Beijing.
`'It is in this context that we will not be undertaking (them) during
(Duterte's) administration especially so that we are trying to resolve this
disputes with China in a peaceful manner,'' Yasay told a separate news
On Wednesday, Japan and the Philippines signed agreements including Japan's
provision of two coast guard boats and T-90 military trainer aircraft as part
of its contribution to step up Philippine maritime security capability. Japan
also agreed to support infrastructure and agricultural promotion projects in
the Philippines to help economic development.
``Japan will continue to play an important role in modernizing the
capabilities of the Philippines'' in maritime security, Duterte said. ``The
Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common
concern in the region ... and the peaceful settlements of disputes including
the South China Sea.''
Duterte is on a three-day visit to Japan. After two rounds of talks with Abe,
he is attending a banquet hosted bythe Japanese leader. On Thursday, he is
set to meet Emperor Akihito.
Associated Press videojournalist Emily Wang in Tokyo and writer Jim Gomez in
Manila, the Philippines, contributed to this report.