Phl, Japan to discuss maritime cooperation
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - July 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to discuss with President Aquino maritime cooperation and safety at sea at Malacañang today.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said bilateral matters on the agenda pertain to economic cooperation, the Mindanao peace process and people to people exchanges.

“The two sides are expected to tackle maritime cooperation and safety at sea,” he said. “The Philippines and Japan will also discuss various regional issues and ASEAN-Japan cooperative matter, which is scheduled in December 2013.”

Aquino and Abe will read a joint statement after the bilateral meeting, the DFA said.

Hernandez said the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will be discussed as part and parcel of regional issues.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and other Cabinet secretaries will be at the bilateral meeting, he added.

Abe arrived last night  for a two-day visit.

China views Abe’s visit to Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines as Japan’s fervent desire to build a maritime alliance to contain it.

However, Japan said Abe’s Southeast Asia visit is aimed at strengthening security and economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

A Kyodo news report said Japanese officials stated that Abe and Aquino are expected to confirm Japan’s plans to supply the Philippines with patrol ships as part of efforts to beef up the   Coast Guard.

Japan is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China in the East China Sea.

A KYODO ABE AND AQUINO AQUINO AND ABE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COAST GUARD DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS EAST CHINA SEA FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT PHILIPPINES AND JAPAN PRESIDENT AQUINO
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