China threat forces historic defense pact of U.S. allies

 July 8, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The growing threat from China in the South and East China seas forced two U.S. allies in Asia to form a historic defense pact Monday which will let both countries have greater access to troops and deployment.

In the Philippine capital city of Manila, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa signed the Reciprocal Access Agreement – a landmark document that set the framework for deployment of military personnel to each country's territories for joint operations and training exercises.

The agreement will allow Japan to fully participate as a member of the Balikatan drills between the U.S. and the Philippines, rather than just as an observer as it has in previous years.

Disputes over territory have grown exponentially in recent months. The Philippine coastguard recently clashed with Chinese forces in the South China Sea, while Japan has accused China of violating territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Japan’s Kamikawa said in an announcement that the alliance is to promote security and defense cooperation.

"As the security environment in the region becomes increasingly severe, the signing of this important security-related agreement with the Philippines…will further promote security and defense cooperation between the two countries and firmly support peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region," Kamikawa said in the announcement.

Japan and the Philippines started negotiations on the agreement in November 2023. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel praised the new agreement in a post on X.

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