Top ranking military officials from four countries met in Singapore to discuss enhanced defense cooperation and agreed to continue close coordination on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region on May 31.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. met with his counterparts from the United States, Japan, and Australia on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31.

Present with the AFP chief of staff were Lt. Gen. Ken-ichiro Nagumo of Japan, Gen. Angus Campbell of Australia, and Adm. Samuel Paparo of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).

They discussed extending support for the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific, where Brawner pledged to continue working with its allies, strategic partners, and other like-minded states in exercising rights and freedoms in the South China Sea, according to a statement from the AFP.

The four military leaders also emphasized their respective countries’ commitment to advancing a shared vision for a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

“As stated in their Joint Statement in April 2024, the four nations confirmed the progress of various forms of cooperation including one of the slated multilateral maritime cooperative activity held on April 7,” the AFP statement said.