Japan, Philippines agree on lease of training aircraft (Source: philstar.com)
Hanoi (VNA) - Japan and the Philippines have agreed on the leasing of training aircraft, the Kyodo News Agency reported.

Accordingly, Japan’s Defence Ministry announced on May 2 that the two countries reached an agreement, under which Tokyo will lease five Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) TC-90 training aircraft to Manila, paving the way for the first provision of MSDF aircraft to a foreign country.

Japanese Defence Minister Gen Nakatani and his Filipino counterpart Voltaire Gazmin confirmed the deal in telephone talks on the same day.

The accord is aimed at strengthening the Philippines ' maritime security capability. The TC-90 is capable of flying some 1,900 kilometres, roughly double the flight range of the Philippine navy's aircraft, helping intensifying the Southeast Asian nation's maritime surveillance capacity.

Previously, Nakatami had planned to visit the Philippines in late April to speed up the agreement, but he cancelled the trip to handle a series of strong earthquakes hitting southwestern Japan. 

The two countries’ authorities acknowledged that Japan cannot provide defence equipment to a foreign country for free under current law, hence they have been considering a lease contract for used MSDF aircraft to make the Japanese equipment available and reduce Manila's payment.

The two countries signed a deal on February 29, allowing Japan to transfer used defence equipment to the Philippines./.