‘No base’ clause a must in PH-Japan pact


Japan is not seeking to establish a permanent military base in the Philippines under the newly signed access deal between the two countries that allows the entry of military troops and equipment into each other’s territory, a Japanese diplomat said on Monday. In an interview with journalists on Monday night, Deputy Press Secretary Mariko Kaneko of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) did not provide any legal foundation for the setup of a military base. Section 3, Article VIII of the agreement explicitly states that: “Nothing in this agreement shall be construed as providing a basis for a Party to establish its military facilities in the territory of the other Party.” Similar access deals Japan had forged with Australia and the United Kingdom did not feature this clause. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines prohibits foreign military bases in the country. Kaneko said both parties had to include the provision during the negotiations “so that there’s no misunderstanding on both sides.” “It only provides the procedures to facilitate the joint exercises and the temporary operation of one country’s forces. This RAA does not provide any legal foundations for a military of one country to be deployed or based permanently,” Kaneko said. Yusuke Takagi, a Southeast Asia expert and associate professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan, said the new deal would open the door “for more substantial participation of Japan Self-Defense Force in joint exercises in the Philippines.” “This implies an effort to institutionalize the cooperation of the two countries … In the midst of tensions in the West Philippine Sea, I believe that the agreement shows Japan’s moral support to how the Philippines is doing to deal with the threats,” he told the Inquirer.
It's clear from the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between Japan and the Philippines that no permanent military bases are being established. The agreement focuses on facilitating joint exercises and temporary troop operations, adhering to legal provisions that prevent the establishment of foreign military facilities on Philippine soil.