Teodoro tells China: PH-Japan defense pact is internal matter, none of your business

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RAA (Yummie Dingding/PPA Pool)
AGREEMENT SIGNED — Japan Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro sign the Philippines-Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) in Malacañan on July 8, 2024. Witnessing the signing are Japan Defense Minister Kihira Minoru, President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo. (Yummie Dingding/PPA Pool)

Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Gilberto Teodoro Jr. called out China for criticizing the Philippines-Japan Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), saying that Beijing has no business interfering with the internal matters between the two friendly nations.

“The RAA is a bilateral agreement between Japan and the Philippines so it is a matter internal to Japan and the Philippines. It is actually none of China’s business,” Teodoro said.

Following the signing on Monday of the RAA, China has criticized the partnership as it digs up Japan's colonial history with the Philippines.

The RAA allows Japanese troops to come to the Philippines and use their weapons, a first since the World War II, for military exercises and vice versa.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lun Jian said that Japan “bears serious historical responsibilities for its aggression and colonial rule over the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries during WWII.”

“Japan needs to reflect on that part of history" Lin said, and added that the Land of the Rising Sun must “act prudently in fields related to military and security.”

But Teodoro, who signed the RAA along with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, said that China’s comments are a form of interference to the internal matters of the Philippines and Japan.

“If I state a comment regarding something that, for example their economic, coercive diplomacy or whatnot, they [China] will say that I’m interfering in their internal affairs. Same thing here,” the defense chief said.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it was hoping to establish a large-scale military exercise with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) following the signing of the RAA.

Read: AFP hopes for ‘Balikatan-like’ exercise with Japanese military