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    Japan Plans to Lease Five Trainer Planes to Philippines

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    Tokyo would provide Manila with maintenance support of the TC-90s and would train the personnel for the aircraft, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The Japanese Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement on Monday it plans to lease up to five TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippines.

    In March, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said that his country plans to lease five aircraft from Japan to patrol the South China Sea, which contains a number of islands and territories disputed by many countries.

    "The sides admit that defense cooperation between Japan and Philippines is essential for peace, stability and prosperity in the region… we confirm that cooperation efforts will include the following: up to five aircraft of the MSDF [Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force] will be transferred to the [Philippine] Navy," the statement published after a phone call between Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani with his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin said.

    It was added in the statement that Tokyo would also provide Manila with maintenance support of the TC-90s and would train the personnel for the aircraft.

    The South China Sea is home to a number of islands and maritime areas, disputed by Brunei, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. China tries to expand its influence over the area triggering concerns of other countries in the region and paving the way for their military buildup.

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    TC-90 aircraft, Japanese Defense Ministry, Japan
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