Philippines, Japan to boost cooperation on East Sea issues

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(VOVWORLD) - Leaders of the Philippines and Japan have agreed to cooperate on issues related to the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam) as China continues its military buildup in the waters despite concerns from neighboring countries.

In a 20-minute phone talk on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide  told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he hopes the two countries can further develop their strategic partnership and work towards a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

He expressed his support for Duterte's efforts to spur economic growth through infrastructure projects. Both leaders affirmed cooperation on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines and Japan will mark 65 years of diplomatic ties next year.