Abe and Aquino Conspire Versus China
June 24, 2014 (LPAC)–Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, expressed his support for Abe’s proposal to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow its military to defend not only Japan but also allies that come under attack.
“We believe that nations of goodwill can only benefit if the Japanese government is empowered to assist others and is allowed the wherewithal to come to the aid of those in need, especially in the area of collective self-defense,” he told reporters at a joint news conference.
Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is in the midst of tough negotiations with its coalition partner, the New Komeito, which has so far balked at Abe’s proposal to allow what is known as collective self-defense. Under the current interpretation of Japan’s constitution, the Japanese military can use force only to defend Japan. Aquino’s support comes as Japan and the Philippines deepen security ties as they hype their territorial disputes with China in the South and East China Seas. Neither Aquino nor Abe mentioned China by name, but both referred to the changing security environment.
Background discussion of their meeting focused on their collaboration against China’s island-chain defense strategy. The Philippines Inquirer states that China is reclaiming land on various reefs in the South China Sea, in what some security experts believe is a first step to building lines of offshore defense to protect the mainland, part of Beijing’s ultimate aim of dominating the Asia-Pacific region as an economic and military superpower.
While the Japan-Philippines relations are moving in the direction of the Asia-Pacific “ring around China” program envisioned by London and their lackeys in the Obama Administration in Washington, relations between Japan and South Korea are still tense, with South Korea very much opposed to the kind of Asia-Pacific NATO idea for which Japan’s Abe appears enthusiastic.