Sofitel Philippine Plaza
19 November 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III together with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing of agreements between the two countries on social security and rail project following the bilateral meeting held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.

Signing the two agreements were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa.

The Philippines-Japan Social Security Agreement aims to provide wider accessibility for workers to receive their Social Security Systems (SSS) benefits whether they are residing in the Philippines or in Japan.

Meanwhile, the railway project aims to improve land transportation capacity in the greater Metro Manila through a rail transit that will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila and vise versa. Amounting to US$ 2 billion, the railway project loan agreement will be funded through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the Philippines.

“Japan remains the Philippines’ largest bilateral trading partner and among the largest sources of investments. We hope to further boost the synergies of our economic cooperation for the benefit and progress of the people’s of both our countries and the greater region,” President Aquino said.

The President likewise thanked Japan’s continued support to the Bangsamoro Peace Process by means of the implementation of the second phase of the Japan Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (JBIRD).

President Aquino also called on Japan to conclude an agreement that aims to enhance security relations between the two countries that would allow the transfer of defense and technology, in which Prime Minister Abe welcomed and agreed to work together for the early signing of the defense cooperation agreement. He also added that the Philippines’ request for a provision of large patrol vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard will be considered by Japan.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Philippines successful hosting of the APEC 2015. Both leaders are scheduled to fly to Malaysia for their attendance in the 27th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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