Will Japan Join Trilateral ASEAN Patrols in the Sulu Sea?

A closer look at a move that has been subject to much speculation.
By Prashanth Parameswaran
On February 10, Japan and the Philippines held the fifth iteration of their defense vice-ministerial dialogue (See: “What’s Next For Japan-Philippines Relations Under Duterte?”). Though a range of issues were discussed, the one that made the headlines was talk of Japan joining in ongoing efforts by the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia to undertake trilateral patrols to counter piracy and terrorism in their surrounding waters.
Officially, according to a statement released by the Philippine defense ministry following the meeting, Japan’s Vice-Minister for International Trade Ro Manabe “expressed Japan’s readiness to contribute in the trilateral cooperation among the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia in addressing piracy and terrorism.” Manabe also “requested the Philippines to convey how Japan could best assist in curbing piracy and kidnapping in the three countries’ shared maritime areas.”
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Source: http://thediplomat.com/

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