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First Trilateral Summit meeting of US, Japan and Philippines

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 13-04-2024
First Trilateral Summit meeting of US, Japan and Philippines International news 6 min read

American President Joe Biden hosted the first-ever trilateral summit meeting between the leaders of the United States of America, the Philippines, and Japan at the White House, Washington D.C, on 11 April 2024. The United States of America’s President Joe Biden has affirmed the commitment of the American government to defend its close allies, Japan and the Philippines. Japan and the Philippines are facing a territorial dispute with China.

Both the Philippines and Japan have a defence pact with the United States (US), and the US military retains permanent bases in Japan and has base rights in the Philippines.

Before the summit meeting, the maritime forces of the Philippines, Japan, the United States and Australia conducted a joint maritime exercise named Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone on 7 April 2024 after the Philippines complained that the Chinese were harassing its forces.

First Trilateral Meeting and Dispute with China  

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attended the summit meeting, which was hosted by US President Joe Biden.

The first-ever trilateral summit was hosted by the United States in the background of increasing tension between the Philippines and Japan with China.

Dispute between China and the Philippines 

Recent tensions between China and the Philippines are centred on the Second Thomas Shoal, which is about 200 kilometres from the Philippines island of Palawan. Second Thomas Shoal is a submerged reef located in the Spratly Islands, South China Sea. China also claims Spratly Island.

 In 1999, the Philippine Navy grounded a ship, BRP Sierra Madre, to strengthen its claim on the shoal. Since then, Philippine Navy personnel have been stationed on the submerged ship.

China claims the Second Thomas Shoal, which lies in the Philippines' exclusive economic zones, is claimed by China as its own territory.

The Chinese have tried to block regularly and harass the rotation and resupply mission undertaken by the Philippines to deliver supplies and rotate troops to and from the makeshift outpost. Recently, the Chinese Coast Guard fired water cannons on a Philippine ship trying to supply the Philippines Navy personnel stationed on the submerged ship. In this incident, many of the Philippines Navy personnel were injured.

The US supports the Philippines in its dispute with China and says that the Second Thomas Shoal is part of the Philippines and that the US is committed to the defence of the Philippines under the US and Philippines Defence Treaty 1951.

Dispute between China and Japan 

The dispute between China and Japan is on Senkaku Island, which is called  Diaoyu Island by China. The island is under the control of Japan.

Since 2008, China has been sending its ships to the waters off the Senkaku Islands to assert its claim to the area and has repeatedly made incursions into Japanese territorial waters. The United States also has a defence treaty with Japan and has said that  Senkaku island is part of Japan, and it comes under the defence treaty. 

Both the Senkaku and the Second Thomas Shoal lie in the South China Sea, which is a strategically important area. It is also a major trade route and has potential oil and gas reserves. China is claiming a vast part of the South China Sea as its own and is in direct conflict with many countries in the area.


Answer: Washington D.C, the United States of America

Answer: Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Answer: Philippines and China

Answer: Japan and China

Answer: American President Joe Biden.
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