Philippines, Japan leaders hold talks over China disputes
MANILA (AFP) - Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to meet President Benigno Aquino on Saturday as the Philippines seeks to boost cooperation over growing territorial disputes with regional rival China.
The meeting comes as tensions have steadily risen between China and Japan, which accuses its growing neighbour of sending an increasing number of ships to exert its claim over unpopulated Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.
The Philippines has also charged that China has used assertive means to exert claims in the conflict-riven South China Sea.
The first visit to Manila by a Japanese leader since December 2006 highlights the growing strategic partnership between the two Asian nations who were bitter enemies in the World War II era, officials said.