A JOINT meeting among the chiefs of the military land forces of the Philippines, United States and Japan was held for the first time on Dec. 11 at the Asaka Station in Japan, according to a statement released by the Japanese Embassy on Tuesday.
The leaders who attended the meeting included Philippine Army Commanding General Romeo S. Brawner Jr., Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Charlton Sean M. Gaerlan, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Chief of Staff Yoshida Yoshihide, US Army Pacific Commanding General Charles A. Flynn, and US Marine Corps Forces Commander William M. Jurney.
They discussed their respective strategic assessments of the Indo-Pacific and possible areas for strengthening security ties.
“They also agreed to enhance defense cooperation and promote initiatives among their units aimed at maintaining and enhancing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” the embassy said.
Stratbase ADR Institute President Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit had said that “parallel to its strategic value, the Indo-Pacific confronts an intensifying network of security challenges, particularly in the maritime domain.”
The deepening collective effort to uphold a rules-based international order in the region allows key actors to become more credible partners, he added.
One of the key concerns is overlapping territorial claims over the South China Sea, a major global shipping route.
The claimants include the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and China. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan