Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
May 31, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talked on non-traditional security issues such as terrorism, climate change, and transnational crimes when he attended the 25th International Conference of the Future of Asia at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.

“As terrorists and violent extremists proceed with their tasks of tearing up the international community, they are forcing us to rethink our ideas of borders and protection,” said the President in his keynote speech.

He added that vulnerabilities caused by climate change are not equally shared by all nations, as some countries – which contributed least to global warming – suffer the most from its consequences, just like the Philippines.

“With water levels rising, most countries will measure the losses in terms of coastlines. Developing archipelagic nations like the Philippines, however, measure our losses in terms of islands and the lives of our citizens,” the Chief Executive explained.

President Duterte questioned the lack of entity to enforce the laws governing climate change despite the various conferences about it every year. “There is not even a sanction. And mankind has always been there, as practiced by many over the periods of generations of just talk,” he stressed.

Furthermore, the President also talked on current events in the Philippines and shared insights on the policies and programs of the national government that are being implemented to support the underprivileged citizens of the country.

“We enacted the Free Tertiary Education and Universal Healthcare to give our people safety nets for the basic means to lead a life of dignity,” he said, as he also discussed other accomplishments such as the liberation of Marawi City in Mindanao from terrorists, the modernization of different cities in the Philippines through the infrastructure program called ‘Build, Build, Build’, the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), among others.

President Duterte also reiterated anew his strong resolve against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country and expressed his aspiration for the Philippines to emulate the Japanese people’s commitment to follow the law and their civic mindedness.

He also considers Japan as a reliable, responsive, and relevant partner with a recipient-driven approach to cooperation and development.

“I am proud to note that our engagement with Japan is an exercise of responsible partnership. It is one that empowers rather than fosters dependency. It is underpinned by friendship and reconciliation, deepened through the years by mutual respect and understanding,” he continued.

With the theme, ‘Seeking a New Global Order – Overcoming the Chaos’, the two-day forum convened Heads of State/Government and economic leaders, business executives, and members of the academe from the Asia-Pacific region to exchange views on regional issues and Asia’s role in the global stage.

The Nikkei-led conference that gathers notable Asian leaders annually has earned a reputation as one of the most important conferences in Asia.

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