In an expanded bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed his appreciation to the Japanese government for giving him the opportunity to visit the country, and said that the Philippines would remain to be a true and loyal partner.
The President said that his visit aims to strengthen the diplomatic ties between centuries of relations of the two nations.
“We would like again to say to you that we have long been partners, that you have been the number one consistent donor of so many help that you have extended my country – from typhoons, and to this day, economic endeavors,” he said.
President Duterte thanked the Japanese government for the recently signed Letters of Intention (LOI) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Philippines and top Japanese companies and investors.
He likewise mentioned about the country’s maritime disputes with China, saying that the Philippines would insist on a resolution that is in accordance with the international rule of law.
“I cannot go out of the arbitral doctrine. I am limited to what is written there. I would like to assure you, as I said, there were no military alliances, no nothing, except in the pursuit of trade and commerce,” he added.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Abe said that it was a great honor for him to see the President again following their first meeting in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic last September.
“I’m taking the opportunity of this milestone year, Their Majesties, the Emperor and the Empress visited the Philippines back in January and now I am delighted to welcome you here in Japan. For your visit to Japan, this time, I look forward to dramatically developing the bilateral relationship between Japan and the Philippines,” the Prime Minister said.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines.
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