Embassy of Japan celebrates the 68th Anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF)



On July 7, 2022, Ambassador KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko hosted a reception for the 68th Anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) at his residence. About 290 guests from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), government officials, and the diplomatic corps attended the celebration. Department of National Defense Officer-in-Charge, Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. also joined the event as the evening's Guest of Honor. 
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Koshikawa described the event as “a salute to a golden age of strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines”, and expressed hope that it will continue to be successful under the new President, H.E. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and his Administration. He also conveyed the strong expectations of the Japanese government to strengthen defense cooperation with the Philippine government under the leadership of President Marcos and upcoming Defense Secretary Faustino.
The Ambassador highlighted that Japan has reinforced its commitments to regional peace and stability to achieve a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). Emphasizing the importance of close cooperation among like-minded countries bonded by universal values and principles such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law amid greater uncertainties in the regional security environment, he remarked that Japan and the Philippines have gone to great lengths in security and defense cooperation. The readiness of Japan to aid the Philippines in times of need through rescue and relief operations, capacity-building activities, and knowledge and equipment transfers thoroughly demonstrates this. He also cited the efforts of the JSDF in strengthening cooperation on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions with the AFP through exercises and trainings.
Both Japan and the Philippines have made remarkable progress in strengthening defense capabilities in recent years. In 2018, the Japanese government transferred five TC-90 aircraft and UH-1H spare parts to the Philippine Air Force. In 2020, the Department of National Defense and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation concluded a contract for the delivery of four Air Surveillance Radar Systems to the Philippine Air Force to improve the Philippines' warning and surveillance capabilities – the first transfer of completed defense equipment by Japan to a foreign country. The inaugural Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) held in Tokyo on April 2022 - a major development to the security and defense cooperation between Japan and the Philippines - served as a venue for the two governments to agree upon strengthening defense capabilities, promoting transfer of defense equipment and technology, and facilitating cooperation.
Ambassador Koshikawa also touched upon the overall bilateral relations between Japan and the Philippines, citing the telephone talk between Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio and President Marcos on May 20. Prime Minister Kishida invited President Marcos to visit Japan, and the two leaders agreed to discuss ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and realize peace and prosperity of the region at an early stage. Further, the Ambassador underscored the very close relationship between Japan and the Philippines in a wide range of fields such as diplomacy, economy and culture, noting that Japan has delivered all of its promised projects to the Philippines.
Ambassador Koshikawa's remarks at the reception for the 68th Anniversary of the JSDF.