Japan vows to help Philippines defend its remote islands

MANILA--Japan pledged Thursday to help the Philippines defend its "remote islands", as both governments expressed concern over China's robust moves to stake its claims to disputed Asian waters.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said China's contentious claim to nearly all of the South China Sea and its territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea were discussed during top-level talks in Manila.

"We agreed that we will further co-operate in terms of the defence of remote islands... the defence of territorial seas as well as protection of maritime interests," Onodera told a joint news conference.

"We face a very similar situation in the East China Sea of Japan. The Japan side is very concerned that this kind of situation in the South China Sea could affect the situation in the East China Sea," he said, speaking through an interpreter.

Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin welcomed Japan's offer of support for its poorly resourced military.

"We have agreed to continue our exchanges of information, exchanges of technology to help each other to make our defence relations stronger," Gazmin said.

Neither side offered specifics but Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in February his country was expecting to get 10 new Japanese patrol boats within 18 months.

The Japanese military brutally occupied the Philippines during World War II, but the two countries have since grown closer due to trade and investment, and more recently, through China's assertiveness.

Del Rosario told the Financial Times newspaper in December that a rearmed Japan would help the region counter-balance China.

Onodera and Gazmin also on Thursday welcomed an increased military presence in Asia by their mutual ally, the United States.

However Onodera said Japan was intent on avoiding conflict with China.

"I would also like to emphasise here that the current situation should not be changed with the use of force but should be done through the rule of law," Onodera said.

China claims most of the South China Seam including waters close to its neighbours' coasts.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have competing claims.

The Philippines has complained of increased Chinese "bullying" in the contested waters in recent years, and infuriated China by appealing to allies Japan and the United States for help.

The Philippines says China last year occupied an atoll well within the Filipino exclusive economic zone.

Tensions between China and Japan have also escalated over competing claims to the Japanese-held Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea.



  1. The Philipines deserves every support from friends and allies in the region. Unlike the Vietnamese Communists who bow and act as puppets to the Chinese, the Filipino government takes stand to defend its sovereign rights. Filipino officials and generals never associate their Chinese counterparts as trusty friends. Their police don't bash up their citizens and imprison bloggers who exercise their freedom of speech.

    If a war broke out between China and the Philipines, the world would stand behind the Philipines.

    1. Them Viets, aint no puppet of the the Chinese. They almost went to war a few years back, them Chinese Navy massacred them Viet Navy on them atolls while them Viets staking their claim. Them Red Chinese sunk them Viet Navy boat, too. Search YouTube, buddy.........

    2. sang tan trong dungxxxJuly 22, 2013 at 2:08 AM

      shut the fuck off,why you say about Chinese,they are good Vietnamese comrade , long live Chinese will live forever in every Vietnamese heart,do you need staying jail fuck you

  2. Viets are not Chinese puppets, they are the one's who continue to resist the Chinese better than us...they even boycott any Chinese made products in Vietnam, they almost got into bloody border war pal. The only South East Asian ally of China is Cambodia...or maybe your reffering to Cambodia not Vietnam, Cambodia is the puppet.

  3. There is someone here who doesn't know how what is happening between China and Vietnam in the previous years...PATHETIC, are you lost in this world of reality hombre? Que puta! You don't know about the Parcel Island do you? That Island is owned by Vietnam legally, it was occupied by China, meaning China is taking each Island territory owned by Vietnam, yet you praise China as your Comrade mi amigo...again your so PATHETIC

  4. You're right man, he is a DUMB ASS he might be a Cambodian...He's not that Pathetic, he's an IDIOT.

  5. German Embassy meets Network of Vietnamese Bloggers

    The August 28 meeting between the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers and the German Embassy in Hanoi waswarm and supportive from the start when diplomats went out to greet the bloggers at the front gate in the presence of the at least 30 Vietnamese policemen surrounding the Embassy.
    The meeting was scheduled to take place at 10am Wednesday. However, by early morning there were approximately 25 policemen stationed around the area. At 10am, as soon as the taxi carrying the bloggers stopped at the gate, those police mobbed the bloggers, with some pointing cameras at them. Two officers wanted to check ID from the bloggers before entering the Embassy even as officials and staff of the Embassy were welcoming them. Embassy staff accompanied bloggers inside preventing an ID check.
    Five female bloggers attended the visit, including Dang Bich Phuong (aka. Phuong Bich), Le Hien Giang (Song Que – the countryside river), Le Thi Phuong Lan (Lan Le), Nguyen Hoang Vi (An Do Nguyen), and Dao Trang Loan (Hu Vo - nothingness). The talk was hosted by Mr. Felix Schwarz, Political Counselor and Consul, and Mr. Jonas Koll, First Secretary in charge of Culture, Media and Politics.

    "We are by your side"

    The meeting with the German diplomats lasted for two hours in an atmosphere that was sympathetic and supportive. According to blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi, the bloggers had left the copy of Statement 258 in their taxi amid their hasty efforts to enter the Embassy so they failed to present it to the Embassy. However, “officials at the Embassy were very sympathetic, because they felt the danger that we bloggers confront, facing dozens of policemen with cameras. The Embassy said they had already printed Statement 258 and we can hand the copy to them in a symbolic act,” Vi told the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers.
    Felix Schwarz and Jonas Koll were especially concerned about the repression that the bloggers have faced, including the obstructions they encountered on the way to the meeting. Both were "astounded" upon learning about human rights violations in Vietnam in the recent years.
    The bloggers themselves were surprised to hear that the German Embassy did not consider the August 16 appeal trial and the mild sentence against student Phuong Uyen as a general improvement of human rights in Vietnam, although they welcomed the decision as a positive sign in two individual cases.

    At the end of the meeting, the Embassy said they would work with EU and like minded partners to raise opinions urging the Vietnamese Government to step back from decree 72. The EU has already published a statement and sent a letter to Vietnamese authorities with regard to the decree. A like-minded demarche (EU, USA, Australia, Norway, New Zealand) has taken place a few days ago and the Freedom Online Coalition, to which Germany is a party, has publicaly critizised decree 72. The abolishment of Article 258 of the Penal Code as well as other laws restricting freedom of expression and opinion would be an important and positive step to reduce human rights violations.


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