THE Philippine and Japanese Government agreed to help each other in advancing security cooperation and assist in the improvement of maritime facilities to combat potential threats in a bid to achieve just and lasting peace.

In an agreement signed by the top leaders of both countries during the state visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Thursday, January 12, as a maritime nation, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged their shared interest in keeping the water resources free from coastal threats through enhancing maritime resources.

“Capacity-building and assets acquisition and upgrading will be a centerpiece of this collaboration. We hope to fast-track the delivery to the Philippines of key assets already in the pipeline and the acquisition of new ones,” Duterte said.

Both parties signed the agreements involving maritime cooperation to promote maritime safety, security and marine environment protection through joint exercises, visits by patrol vessels and aircraft and capacity enhancement.

Abe, for his part, assured to continue its assistance in terms of ensuring maritime security to the country which has been the country's closest ally for a long period of time.

It can be recalled that Japan has donated new vessels to the Philippine Coast Guard which boosted their capacity as water watchers to deter potential threats within the Philippine territory.

He also expressed his support to the government's war against drugs and the on-going peace process and development in Mindanao.

“For our part, Japan will tap among others, knowledge of the private sector to assist in the improvement of related facilities, formulation of treatment programs and in other areas,” Abe said.