Philippines Move to Allow Japan Use of Military Bases

Japanese aircraft and vessels may soon be allowed to refuel on Filipino islands after Filipino President Benigno Aquino iii announced Friday that he was ready to begin talks over the issue.

President Aquino announced the plan at a news conference in Tokyo. He stated, “[Y]es, the Philippines does welcome this development. And we will be initiating all of the diplomatic requirements to come up with the Visiting Forces Agreement.”

Earlier this week, the two countries agreed to hold defense talks, joint exercises and to work together in disaster relief efforts.

The Philippines and the United States have protested China’s land reclamation and building up of islands in disputed waters. Meanwhile, Japan is at odds with China over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.