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Japan’s strong support for modern AFP hailed

April 30, 2024 People's Journal 118 views

NATIONAL Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. has thanked Japan for its strong support of the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

Teodoro made the remark in his meeting with Japanese State Minister of Defense Oniki Makoto at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday.

Makoto, representing Japanese Defense Minister Kihara Minoru, is on a three-day official visit to Manila from April 28 to 30, upon the invitation of Teodoro.

“Secretary Teodoro personally welcomed State Minister Oniki during the latter’s courtesy call at the DND, highlighting the increased defense interaction and cooperation between the Philippines and Japan towards the promotion of regional peace and security in the Indo-Pacific,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement.

Japan’s support is crucial as the AFP transitions towards the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept (CADC) as part of the shift to better protect the country’s territories, including its exclusive economic zone, he added.

“The current Air Surveillance Radar System (ASRS) Project of the Philippine Navy, the Official Security Assistance (OSA) grant of coastal radars, as well as the transfer of TC-90 Beechcraft and UH-1H spare parts from Japan in previous years, were enumerated by Secretary Teodoro to have contributed to the enhancement of the AFP’s maritime domain awareness (MDA) capabilities,” Andolong said.

Makoto and Teodoro led the turnover, acceptance, and blessing rites of the Japanese mobile radar system to the Philippine government.

He also attended a wreath-laying ceremony and a demonstration by the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, graced a “Balikatan” exercise as an observer, and visited the Naval Air Wing in Naval Base Heracleo Alano. Philippine News Agency