Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera arrived in Manila on June 26, starting his two-day visit to the Philippines with a view to reinforcing bilateral defence relations.

The Japanese guest, on the same day, toured the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, which was a US former naval base in Zambales province in the north of Manila capital.

He is scheduled to have talks with his Filipino counterpart Voltaire Gazmin on June 27.

At a press conference in Tokyo on June 21, Onodera said his visit aims to access the general security situation of Japan and regional nations.

He noted that the Japanese Defence Ministry should further its cooperation with those of Southeast Asian countries and the US .

Onodera’s visit takes place in the context of Tokyo increasing its efforts to assist the Philippines in improving its marine security capacity.-VNA