Japan to Provide 5 Surveillance Aircraft and 2 Patrol Boats to the Philippines
Japan on Tuesday announced that it would hand over five surveillance aircraft and two patrol boats to the Philippines.
The announcement came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte at Vientiane, Laos on the sidelines of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
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"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to provide two large-sized patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines," a Japanese government spokesperson said.
During the meeting, Abe assured Duterte of Japan's support in case the South China Sea dispute is discussed during the 29th ASEAN Summit. "If that issue is going to be raised here, expect us to be the first one to stand up to support you," the Japanese PM told Philippines President Duterte.
China has repeatedly asked Japan to stop interfering in the South China Sea row. Beijing has also accused Tokyo of hyping China's territorial disputes with the Philippines and other Asian countries over territories in the South China Sea.
In July, the-Hague based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China in favor of the Philippines in a long-standing territorial dispute over the South China Sea. China continues to dismiss the ruling despite international pressure for Beijing to recognize the jurisdiction of the court.