Japan has enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Philippines for decades. It has been providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines since the 1970s and the two countries have developed close trade relations, as represented by the Japan–Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) of 2008. Japan likewise takes an active role in peace-building efforts in the southern island of Mindanao and in enhancing the Philippines’ maritime law enforcement capability. Given President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial response to US criticisms over human rights and extrajudicial killings soon after his election in 2016, Japan may have a role as a mediator between the Philippines and the US.