4th Meeting of the Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue
The fourth meeting of the Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue was held on October 22, 2021, in a teleconference format. The Japanese delegation was headed by Mr. ISHIZUKI Hideo, Deputy Director-General of Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by officials of the National Security Secretariat, the National Ocean Policy Secretariat, the Ministry of Defense, and the Japan Coast Guard; the Philippine delegation was headed by Ms. Maria Angela A. Ponce, Assistant Secretary of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by officials of the Department of National Defense, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), among others. The overview of the dialogue is as follows:
- Both delegations, representing the two maritime states sharing vital sea lanes, discussed latest developments in their surrounding seas such as the East and South China Seas as well as ways to strengthen cooperation in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and the surrounding areas. The two sides affirmed the importance of rules-based, free and open maritime order.
- Both sides confirmed progress on the bilateral cooperation, such as their coordination and exchange programmes between the defense agencies as well as between the coast guard authorities and their projects to enhance maritime capabilities enhancement. Furthermore, both sides discussed Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) employing advanced technologies, their combat against illegal, unreported, unlawful (IUU) fishing, and efforts to reduce marine plastic litter. Both sides shared the determination to continue reinforcing their cooperation in a concrete matter.
- The Philippine side expressed deep gratitude for Japan's cooperation in human resources development of the Philippine Armed Forces and the PCG, on top of asset procurement of multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) and coastal surveillance radars.
- Both sides concurred on their commitment to continuing close coordination in the maritime-related fields toward the promotion of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” and the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)” that share many relevant fundamental principles.
The Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue was formalized in light of the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement of June 2009. The chair of the meeting alternates between the two sides.
The first meeting of the Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue was held in Tokyo on September 9, 2011, followed by the second in Manila on February 22, 2013, and the third in Tokyo on June 11, 2019.