Home World News Fruity Indo-Pacific politics, or how Kishi met Lorenzana

Fruity Indo-Pacific politics, or how Kishi met Lorenzana

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Recently, the defense secretaries of Japan and the Philippines agreed on “enhanced defense cooperation.” As Tokyo and Washington would like Manila to join the Indo-Pacific coalition, even mangoes and bananas play a role.

THE headlines were ecstatic: “Japan’s defense chief stuns Lorenzana with PH mementos during meeting” (Inquirer, June 4, 2021).

During a videoconference with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi adorned “his table with Philippine fruits like mangoes and bananas” plus “a scale model of a jeepney” (see figure 1).

FIGURE 1 KISHI-LORENZANA INTERNET CONFERENCE

Source: Screen capture posted by Defense Secretary Lorenzana on June 3, 2021

Moved by the Japanese courteousness, Lorenzana said he “looked forward to the…

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