Japan first presented its vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) in 2016. It has since served as a framework for other Indo-Pacific strategies. With this collective goal in mind, states have continued to reaffirm their shared commitment to establishing a rules-based international order and effectively managing the region’s complex security environment.
To maintain regional peace and stability, the Philippines has pursued an independent foreign policy aimed at maximizing diplomatic relations and alliances with like-minded states. It also draws on its longstanding strategic partnership with Japan, as demonstrated by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s official visit to Japan in February 2023.
In 2022, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Japan’s new National Security Strategy (NSS) in response to the region’s increasingly complex security challenges. Japan is set to strengthen its defense and security capabilities, including having counter-strike capabilities and increasing its defense budget, as part of redirecting the country’s foreign and security policy principles.
With more security challenges on the horizon, the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan remains strong, based on cooperation in achieving Indo-Pacific peace and stability. While both countries deal with their own maritime issues, Japan has consistently backed the Philippines’ 2016 arbitral victory in the West Philippine Sea. In addition, with the Philippines’ strong alliance with the United States and partnership with Japan, a trilateral security cooperation among them is proposed in the form of joint military exercises and humanitarian assistance and disaster response cooperation. This further strengthens cooperation among states amid the region’s complex security environment.
In line with this, Stratbase ADR Institute, together with the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines and the Embassy of the United States in the Philippines, hosted a hybrid town hall discussion entitled, “Strengthening Partnerships Toward A Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, on 3 March 2023, Friday.
Through this event, the Institute seeks to provide a platform for experts and scholars to share their assessments and recommendations on the Philippines’ independent foreign policy under the Marcos Jr. administration as well as the country’s diplomatic ties with Japan and the United States.
Mr. Kenichi Matsuda
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
Geopolitics of Japan and Her Grand Strategy – Current International Situation and Japan’s Policy on National Security
Mr. Miyake Kunihiko
Research Director, The Canon Institute for Global Studies
Sustaining Philippine-Japan Economic Relations
Dr. Ronald Mendoza
Committee Member, United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA);
Senior Economist, Ateneo Policy Center
Fostering A Philippines-US-Japan Security Cooperation
Mr. Gregory Poling
Senior Fellow and Director,
Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative,
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute
Host & Moderator:
Dr. Charmaine Willoughby
Associate Professor, International Studies Department,
De La Salle University – Manila