VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Japan is NOT moving weapons to PH


A YouTube video claimed that Japan is currently transferring weapons to the Philippines, causing alarm in China. This is not true. Japan’s recently-announced aid scheme for developing countries aims to strengthen defense capabilities but will not involve the supply of lethal weapons.

Posted on June 5 by YouTube channel Terong Explained, the video erroneously tagged as “breaking news” carried this caption: “NABIGLA ANG CHINA! Armas Ng Japan INILILIPAT Na Pala DITO SA PINAS (China was shocked! Japanese arms being transferred here in the Philippines)!”

SAY WHAT: Unveiled only recently, Japan’s Overseas Security Assistance (OSA) aims to bolster defense capabilities of recipient developing countries like the Philippines, but will not include the purchase of lethal equipment. The OSA has yet to be implemented.

The video’s thumbnail featured photos of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping with a text that read: “Japanese Force desididong makaganti ang Pinas sa China (Japanese forces ensure Philippines can strike back at China).”

On April 5, Japan announced its Overseas Security Assistance (OSA) program, a grant aid that will provide non-lethal equipment or technology, supplies, and infrastructure assistance. Intended recipients are armed forces and related organizations of eligible developing countries like the Philippines. This has yet to be implemented.

Specifically, the OSA would provide air surveillance radar systems and patrol boats but lethal weapons would not be supplied under the program, according to media reports.

The OSA, a response to China’s rapid militarization in the Indo-Pacific region, would be used for monitoring and surveillance of territories, humanitarian activities, and international peacekeeping operations, the framework’s official concept paper stated.

OSA’s implementing guidelines state that any military assistance will be provided only in areas not directly related to any international conflict, and within Japan’s Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology.

Japan previously signed a US$100 million contract to export radars to the Philippines.

The erroneous video by YouTube channel Terong Explained (created on Oct. 6, 2015) got 27,591 interactions. It appeared four days after trilateral exercises between the Philippines, Japan, and the United States began.


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