Thursday, February 21, 2013

Philippines, Japan to hold dialogue on maritime security

The Philippines and Japan will hold the Second Dialogue on Maritime and Oceanic Affairs today amid maritime territorial tensions with neighboring China, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.

According to the Foreign Affairs agency, the two sides will “discuss various areas of cooperation in maritime safety, maritime security, anti-piracy measures, fisheries and marine scientific research” during the dialogue, which will be held at the department’s main office in Pasay City.

The Philippine delegation will be headed by Gilberto Asuque, assistant secretary for the Office of Special and Ocean Concerns, and Henry Bensurto, special assistant for the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy.

Other representatives will also come from the Foreign Affairs department, Department of National Defense, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The Japanese delegation, meanwhile, will be led by Kenji Kanasugi, deputy director general for Southwest and Southeast Asian Affairs of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It will also be composed of experts from the Japanese ministry of Foreign Affairs, secretariat of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy of the Cabinet Secretariat, the ministry of Defense and the Japanese Coast Guard.

The meeting comes at a time when both Manila and Tokyo are in separate territorial disputes over resource-rich islands in the waters they share with Beijing.

Japan and China have claims on the islands in the East China Sea called Senkakus by the Japanese and referred to as Diaoyus by the Chinese.

The Philippines is also in competing claims with China over the islands, islets, shoals, reefs and rock formations in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a region believed to hold vast reserves of oil and minerals.

The first dialogue on maritime cooperation between the Philippines and Japan was held in Tokyo on September 9, 2011.

Bernice Camille V. Bauzon | The Manila Times | February 21, 2013 | Article Link

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