News Release

PBBM: Proposed RAA with Japan different from VFA with US

The Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between the Philippines and Japan is different from the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr declared on Monday.

During the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) question and answer session, President Marcos was asked which country should take custody of erring Japanese servicemen in case the RAA is approved.

He responded by saying “(i)t’s not the same as a Visiting Forces Agreement. That, I think, that’s not, it’s not similar— we’ve had problems with that with the Americans, some American forces, we all know. But that’s not… it’s very, very different from what the Reciprocal Agreement will be with the Japanese.”

“It’s not going to be as if it’s their base and they, their seamen will come down and will go into the city and go— I don’t think that that’s a part of the agreement,” he further stated.

The President previously said the Philippines and Japan would greatly benefit from the RAA in maintaining regional peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The agreement would be extremely significant between the two countries because it will give them greater capability in terms of security, disaster preparedness, alleviation, and adjustment, he said.

The RAA is expected to greatly boost maritime cooperation between the two countries as the proposed RAA will facilitate the procedures and set guidelines when Philippine forces visit Japan for training and joint exercises, and vice versa. PND