The Philippines can rely on Japan, particularly in security, amid the ongoing dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), an envoy said on Tuesday.
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V made this response when asked in a press conference at the Philippine embassy in Japan about the commitment the Philippines can get from Japan in terms of upholding the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
“Japan will support the Philippines in its needs particularly in security,” Laurel told the Filipino journalists who will cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s third trip to Japan since he assumed the presidency in 2016.
“So, Japan is a trading country. It survives on selling their manufactured goods to the world. They have to keep the shipping lanes open,” he added.
Laurel also cited Japan’s “intimate” relationship with the Philippines such that it provided the latter with 10 ships, jet planes, helicopters among others.
“Well you must remember that because we are very intimate friends, Japan greatly also depends on the Philippines,” Laurel said.
“Although let’s admit it, they created war during the 40’s, but they have paid for it. And they have — and the complexities of the world has changed,” he added.
The ambassador described Japan as “a true friend with no conditions”.
Duterte left Manila Tuesday afternoon to attend Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia in Tokyo. PNA