Japan Confirms P-3 Orion To Be Donated To The Philippines

16 November 2015

A Japanese navy official (L) walks with members of the Philippine Navy after disembarking a P3-C Orion surveillance aircraft at an airbase in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, on June 2. The Philippine Navy has been training with US and Japanese counterpart relative to operations of said plane.

By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo

TOKYO — The Japanese and Philippine leaders will agree this week on a deal paving the way for Tokyo to supply Manila with used military equipment, possibly including aircraft that could be deployed to patrol the disputed South China Sea, sources said. (see our breaking story here)

The deal will mark the first time Japan has agreed to directly donate military equipment to another country, and is the latest example of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's more muscular security agenda.

The agreement in principle on military technology will be announced after Abe and President Benigno Aquino III meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, said three sources in Tokyo who are familiar with the issue.

Abe and Aquino are due to meet on Wednesday (November 18).

It will commit Tokyo and Manila to discuss the type and scale of Japanese military aid, added the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

A Tokyo-based spokesman for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, which according to sources has been handling the agreement, said he had no information on the matter.

The Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment, while Philippine military officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

To allow Japan's first direct donation of military equipment, Japanese lawmakers will either have to tweak financial regulations that require officials to sell second-hand government-owned equipment at fair market value, or establish a financing mechanism outside overseas development aid, which can't be used for military purposes.

Japan's upper chamber of parliament early Saturday gave final approval to a set of controversial bills allowing the country's military to engage in overseas combat assignments — under certain circumstances — for the first time since World War II. The lower chamber approved the bills in July.

In June, Abe and Aquino agreed to begin talks on a visiting forces agreement that would open the way for Japan to use bases in the Philippines to refuel aircraft and resupply naval vessels.(Redacted)

1 comment:

  1. Japan and the Philippines on Thursday broadly agreed on a pact for the transfer of defense equipment and technology that would pave the way for Japan to provide Self-Defense Forces equipment to the Philippines.

    The Philippines is the fifth country to have such an accord on the transfer of defense equipment and technology following the United States, Britain, Australia and France.