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Video misreports Japan transporting weapons to PH

Japan has not transported war weapons to the Philippines purportedly to be used against China, contrary to what a viral YouTube video has claimed.

The clickbait title of the video posted on June 5 by the YouTube channel Terong Explained alleged:

🔴NABIGLA ANG CHINA! Armas ng Japan INILILIPAT Na Pala DITO SA PINAS (CHINA WAS SURPRISED! Japan’s weapons are being transferred to the Philippines)!

The thumbnail of the video similarly read:

Armas ng Japan, inililipat na sa Pinas: Japanese Force desididong makaganti ang Pinas sa China (Japan is transferring their weapons to the Philippines: Japanese Force determined to see the Philippines exact revenge on China)!

The narrator said Japan, to China’s surprise, decided last May 31 to give war weapons to the Philippines:

Isa sa bangugot ni Xi JinPing, mangyayari na. Armas pandigma, bumabaha na papuntang Pilipinas… Nagpasya ang Japan noong Miyerkules (May 31) na magbigay ng kagamitan sa armadong pwersa na katulad ng pag-iisip ng mga bansa na kapareho ng mga halaga nito, tulad ng panuntunan ng batas upang pagbutihin ang kanilang mga kakayahan sa pagdepensa upang harapin ang mga banta sa seguridad sa rehiyon kabilang ang pagbuo ng militar ng China sa Indo-Pacific (One of Xi’s nightmares is finally happening as war weapons are coming to the Philippines… Japan decided last May 31 to give weapons to armed forces of like-minded countries that seek to enhance defense capabilities to deal with security threats including China’s growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific).

No such announcement was made that day.

Japan in April committed to providing security assistance aid to the Philippines and several other countries through the newly established Official Security Assistance.

Contrary to the video’s claim, however, the grant will not be used to buy war or lethal weapons, only patrol boats and air and maritime surveillance radar systems, according to reports.

The implementation guidelines said the aid will be provided only in such limited fields not directly related to international conflicts:

While maintaining our basic philosophy as a peace-loving nation, Japan will provide OSA only in such limited fields not directly relating to any international conflict.

Japan’s intention to provide military assistance to the Philippines was taken up during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s official visit to Tokyo in early February.

The two countries later issued a joint statement, expressing their plan to enhance defense and security cooperation through the transfer of more defense equipment to the Philippines amid the increasing challenges being faced in the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region. The statement said:

The leaders resolved to increase the defense capabilities of their own countries, and further strengthen overall security cooperation by strategic reciprocal port calls and aircraft visits, transfer of more defense equipment and technology, continuous cooperation on previously transferred defense equipment and capacity building. In concrete terms, the leaders affirmed to strengthen efforts to complete transfer of air-surveillance radars systems, and for its related personnel training.

In the latest Japan-Philipines Foreign Ministry Meeting on May 16, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said the country welcomed the steady progress on the transfer project but made no mention of an ongoing transfer of defense equipment. There are also no news accounts of any such ongoing transfer.

Meanwhile, a reverse image search showed that the majority of the clips (1:10–4:59) used to support the misleading claim are from a video uploaded in 2021 by a YouTube channel Front Cost exhibiting military weapons and vehicles claimed to be Japan’s “new secret weapon,” No part of the video mentions that these are currently being transferred to the Philippines.

The video also includes the footage of the U.K.- led International Strike Group in the South China Sea posted by the U.S. Navy’s YouTube channel in 2021. The post did not credit the videos to their sources.

The video was uploaded a few days after the United States, Japan, and the Philippines opened their first-ever joint naval drills amid growing concerns about China’s movements in the Asia Pacific.

The video has garnered over 50,000 views, 1,900 likes and 57 comments. The channel has been previously fact-checked by Rappler, VERA Files, and for its erroneous reporting on Philippine military affairs. (SC)

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