Philippines backs rearmed Japan to 'balance' rising China
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines would support Japan dropping its pacifist constitution to become a fully fledged military force and act as a balance against a rising China, a government spokesman said on Monday.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines would strongly support a rearmed Japan - its World War II foe - as a counterweight to what it sees as Chinese provocation.
"We are looking for balancing factors in the region and Japan could be a significant balancing factor," he told the paper amid growing tensions over the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by China.
Foreign department spokesman Raul Hernandez confirmed the government's view that Japan should upgrade its military from a self defence force so that it has more freedom to operate in the region.