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PH, US, Japan, Australia hold defense talks

Officials of the Philippines, United States, Japan and Australia gathered in Tokyo to discuss «regional issues of common interest and more opportunities to expand cooperation» among the four allied partners.

Those who attended included Mike Kitcher, deputy chief Joint Operations, Australian Defense Forces; Major General Nobutaka Minamikawa, Defense Plans and Policy Department, J5, Japan Self-Defense Force; Major General Jay Bargeron, director for Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, J5, US Indo-Pacific Command; and Brigadier General Rommel Cordova, assistant deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, AJ5, Armed Forces of the Philippines.

They reaffirmed a shared vision for a «Free and Open Indo-Pacific» and a collective effort to ensure that the vision continues to thrive.

The meeting from November 28 to December 1 was an offshoot of the Japan-PH-AUS-US Defense Ministerial Meeting held in Singapore last June 3, 2023.

Public Affairs Chief. Col. Xerxes Trinidad said the AFP's participation is another demonstration of its commitment to its alliance and partnership with like-minded nations, particularly in protecting Philippine defense and security interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

The US, Australia, and the Philippines recently concluded maritime cooperative activities in the West Philippine Sea.