Japan, Philippines sign disaster relief agreement

Japan and the Philippines signed a disaster relief agreement today, an agreement seen as a boost to security ties between the two countries amid heightened tensions with China.

The signing of the agreement by officials from both parties was broadcast by the Philippine state media. It was part of seven agreements made during the official visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to Tokyo, state media said.

Japanese officials told Reuters that the disaster relief agreement would help establish a broader legal framework for Japanese troops to deploy to the Philippines. Some Philippine lawmakers have called on the country to sign an agreement with Japan called visiting troops, which allows them to station troops on each other’s soil.

Tokyo recently signed similar agreements with Australia and Britain, and also supports the largest US military overseas. Marcos, who said his visit to Japan was aimed, among other things, at promoting “strengthening security and defense,” signed an agreement last week allowing the United States access to military bases in the Philippines.

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