Fruity Indo-Pacific politics, or how Kishi met Lorenzana
Recently, the defense secretaries of Japan and the Philippines agreed on “enhanced defense cooperation.” As Tokyo and Washington would like Manila to join the Indo-Pacific coalition, even mangoes and bananas play a role.
THE headlines were ecstatic: “Japan’s defense chief stuns Lorenzana with PH mementos during meeting” (Inquirer, June 4, 2021).
During a videoconference with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi adorned “his table with Philippine fruits like mangoes and bananas” plus “a scale model of a jeepney” (see figure 1).
FIGURE 1 KISHI-LORENZANA INTERNET CONFERENCE
Moved by the…