Prime Minister’s Office, Tokyo, Japan
May 31, 2019

Following the Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed in a joint press statement his gratitude to Japan for pledging a comprehensive development assistance for Mindanao held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, Japan.

“I am grateful for Japan’s fresh commitment of around ¥25 billion for the development of Mindanao’s road network, vocational training facilities and equipment, and other projects,” President Duterte said.

He also welcomed Japan’s reaffirmation of support for the Philippine government’s flagship ‘Build, Build, Build’ Program, and its growing interest and confidence in the Philippines as a preferred trade and investment destination by Japanese businesses.

“We discussed modalities for greater cooperation in upgrading the Philippines’ defense capabilities, including maritime security and maritime domain awareness. We explored opportunities to tap our demographic complementary to drive growth in our economies, including the possibility of Japan opening its doors to foreign skilled workers,” he underscored.

Furthermore, the Chief Executive conveyed his deepest respect and appreciation to Emperor Emeritus Akihito. He deemed the accession of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito as renewed confidence of Japan’s strong bond with the Philippines that is “characterized by beautiful harmony”.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Abe vowed to strengthen Japan’s support to the peace process of Mindanao in the southern part of the Philippines. He also welcomed the decision of the Philippine government to lift the import suspension of fishery products from Fukushima Prefecture prior to President Duterte’s visit to Japan.

“Safety of agriculture, forestry, and fishery products of Fukushima is ensured through thorough inspections and other measures. Our government will continue to make outmost efforts to push for relaxation or removal of import restrictions imposed by some countries and wipe out the hurtful rumors,” the Japanese leader stressed.

He added that during the Summit Meeting, Japan and the Philippines confirmed plans to strengthen their partnership, as the two maritime nations intend to deepen its dialogue on the policy front, aside from their on-going joint exercises.

“With another milestone reached today, I look forward to working hand in hand with President Duterte to further deepen the bond of friendship between Japan and the Philippines, and to contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity,” he concluded.

* * *