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US, Japan, and Philippines reached agreement on defense

US, Japan, and Philippines reached agreement on defense Presidents of the Philippines and the US, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Joe Biden, and Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida (photo:

President of the US Joe Biden, President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida have announced a series of agreements between their countries, concluded during meetings in Washington. These agreements also concern strengthening security, according to the White House and Reuters.

In a statement, the administration of the US President called this first summit between the three Indo-Pacific democracies historic, and the culmination of decades of partnership and efforts by governments.

"Our three nations share a firm commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, inclusive, and resilient. We welcome coordination and cooperation with a wide range of partners who share these goals... Additionally, we welcome efforts to support a peaceful and stable, rules-based Indo-Pacific region, including from the Quad, AUKUS, and the U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea trilateral framework," the White House release said.

On April 11, the leaders of the US, Japan, and the Philippines presented a series of agreements. Among them:

Military modernization

Japan and the US have announced plans to modernize their military alliance, including the US military command in Japan and increased joint development of defense equipment.

In a joint statement, the summit mentioned that new military command and control systems will provide better operational compatibility and planning in peacetime and during emergencies.

It also announced the intention to modernize defense communication networks and to integrate air defense capabilities between the US, Australia, and Japan to counter air and missile threats.

According to defense plans, both sides will create a forum to identify areas of joint development and joint production of missiles and servicing of US military ships and aircraft.

Additionally, a working group will be established to train fighter pilots, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced simulators, as well as joint development and production of jet simulators.

AUKUS, the South China Sea, and patrols in the Indo-Pacific region

During the meeting between Biden and Kishida, the possibility of Japan's participation in projects related to the advanced capabilities of the AUKUS security pact was discussed. The US, UK, and Australia formed AUKUS in 2021 to counter China's growing influence.

According to the summit's joint statement, the three existing AUKUS partners are considering cooperation with Tokyo on a plan that includes advanced capabilities and technologies in several areas, including quantum computing, submarines, hypersonics, artificial intelligence, and cyber technology.

The joint statement also noted China's escalatory behavior in the South China Sea.

Earlier this week, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that more joint patrols in this sea can be expected after exercises involving the US, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan last weekend.

Additionally, the US plans to conduct joint coast guard patrols in the Indian-Pacific region next year, as well as joint maritime exercises such as the planned around Japan in 2025.

At the summit's conclusion, the leaders announced that Washington would also place undisclosed humanitarian aid items at Philippine military bases.

New investments in submarine cables, logistics, clean energy, and telecommunications were also announced.

Japan's plans for a Moon landing

Japan aims to land its first astronaut on the Moon through the American Artemis project, which plans to return humans to the satellite by 2026 amid increasing competition from Russia and China.

In a joint statement following the summit, a shared goal was announced for a Japanese citizen to land on the Moon as part of the Artemis mission.

On April 10, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that Tokyo currently has no plans to join the AUKUS defense pact formed by Australia, Britain, and the US. He added that Japan intends to continue close cooperation with each of the countries in this alliance.

Additionally, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida promised strong support for Ukraine during his meeting with US President Biden.