(From AFP)

Japan will lease military aircraft to the Philippines in another sign of deepening security ties between the two former foes to counter Beijing’s increasing regional influence.

Crew members of the Japanese helicopter carrier Ise stand on the deck after arriving at the former US naval base, Subic port, north of Manila, on April 26

The agreement was made Monday afternoon during telephone talks between Japan’s Defence Minister Gen Nakatani and his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin, the ministry said.

Tensions in the South China Sea — through which one third of the world’s oil passes — have mounted in recent years since China transformed contested reefs into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities.

Under the accord, Tokyo will lease up to five TC-90 training airplanes and help Manila train pilots and aircraft mechanics, the ministry said. The planes can be used as surveillance aircraft, according to local media. Read More

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