In June 1992, before assuming the presidency he had just been elected to, Fidel Ramos expressed reservations about a higher military profile for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in Asia. The New York Times dutifully reported his view, that any Japanese military initiative would arouse regional concerns. Fast forward to June 2014. On an official visit to Tokyo, President Aquino all but encouraged Japan to amend its pacifist constitution.
The Philippines does not want war but peace, and it will always say no to conflict. The majority of Filipinos support the President’s policy of diplomacy with regards to issues that affect national interest, including our ongoing rift with China.
By Amando Doronila
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with the United States signed during President Barack Obama’s visit comes as an upshot of the revulsion of Filipinos to China’s aggressive incursions into islets claimed by Manila as part of the Philippine exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.
Barack Obama, the seventh sitting US president to visit the Philippines, arrives today to discuss defense and security issues that may well have a bearing on the next generation of Filipinos. President Aquino will honor his country’s highest interests if he uses the opportunity to also remind Obama of America’s unfinished business in the Philippines.
By Brahma Chellaney
The deteriorating situation in Ukraine and rising tensions between Russia and the United States threaten to bury US President Barack Obama’s floundering “pivot” toward Asia—the world’s most vibrant (but also possibly its most combustible) continent. Obama’s tour of Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines will do little to rescue the pivot or put his regional foreign policy on a sound footing.