Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit the Philippines this week. He is making this visit in a bid to strengthen ties with Manila and also discuss the issue of regional territory dispute over the South China Sea and East China Sea that the two countries face with China.
Abe's visit is aimed at advancing strategic partnership between the two countries. The Japanese Prime Minister will meet Filipino President Benigno S. Aquino III and the two will discuss bilateral cooperation and regional security issues, according to a statement from the Japanese Department of Foreign Affairs.
Last year, it was reported that Japan was Philippine's number one trader as well as the second largest investor in the country.
The Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera last month declared that Japan will go all out to help the Philippines over its sea dispute with the Beijing government.
"We face a very similar situation in the East China Sea of Japan. The Japan side is very concerned that this kind of situation in the South China Sea could affect the situation in the East China Sea," said the Japanese defense minister at a joint news conference in Manila.
"We agreed that we will further co-operate in terms of the defence of remote islands... the defence of territorial seas as well as protection of maritime interests," added Onodera.
Japan is one of the only two strategic partners of the Philippines, the other one being the United States.