Philippines President Benigno Aquino said here on Friday that his country is to start talks that may allow Japan’s military aircraft and naval vessels to use bases in the Philippines for refueling and picking up.
“We will be starting discussion on this,” Aquino said at a press conference in Japan’s National Press Club on the last day of his state visit.
A Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) would clear the way for the Japanese military to use Philippines’ bases on a rotational basis, similar to the way the United States does now. Once enacted, Japan ‘s Self Defense Forces (SDF) will be able to extend their patrol range deep into the South China Sea.
Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to start talks on defense equipment transfer Thursday during their summit meeting. But the decision to start talks on a VFA was not included in the joint statement released after the meeting. Enditem