Japan, Philippines to discuss Coast Guard ships

Posted at 01/09/13 9:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will discuss Manila's request for 10 Coast Guard ships from Tokyo.

The 2 officials are scheduled to meet Thursday (not Wednesday as earlier reported).

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) officially made the request for the multi-role response vessels (RRV) from Japan through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

"That will be a matter of discussion between the Foreign Minister and myself tomorrow," del Rosario said.

Kishida is visiting the country officially for the first time since joining the cabinet of Japan's newly Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

His visit to Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Australia is aimed at strengthening Japan's ties its Asia-Pacific neighbors.

"This visit offers an opportunity for close communication with each country at foreign ministerial level, which will strengthen the bilateral relations in a wide range of areas," the Japanese embassy in Manila said in a statement.

Kishida's visit comes under the shadow of China's aggressiveness in the region and its territorial disputes with other countries including Japan and the Philippines.

DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippines wants to strengthen its security alliance with other countries.

He added that a stronger Japan is welcome in the region.

"No country by itself has the capacity to address the security requirements of this region. It is to our interest to seek stronger partners and have stronger alliances in the region," he added.