Japan and the Philippines are to sign an agreement as early as next week to promote technological cooperation and the transfer of defense equipment.
The two governments have been holding working-level talks on the matter since a broad agreement was reached at summit talks in November of last year.
The new agreement is expected to include measures that would protect information and restrict the transfer of equipment and technology to third countries.
Manila has shown an interest in adopting training aircraft used by Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force with an eye toward surveillance and patrol activities in the South China Sea.
The two countries are expected to discuss the matter after signing the agreement.
The Philippines and China are locked in a sovereignty dispute over islands in the South China Sea.
Observers say the Japanese government is apparently aiming at keeping China in check.
Japan has signed similar deals with other countries, including the United States and Australia. The Philippines will be the first member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to sign such an agreement.
Source: NHK Image: ABS- CBN News