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CNBC reports:

Japan and Philippines’ defense pact signed on Monday seeks to counter China’s increasing aggression in the region and create deterrence that goes beyond reliance on the U.S., experts told CNBC.

The “Reciprocal Access Agreement,” which comes against the backdrop of tensions between the Philippines and China over the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, allows exchange of armed forces for training and joint military exercises between Tokyo and Manila. 

The deal was signed in Manila by Philippine Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in the presence of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.

The partnership between the Philippines and Japan had been “upgraded one level higher,” Teodoro said at a joint briefing following the RAA ceremony,  according to Philippine state media…

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