Old Prime Minister’s Residence, Tokyo, Japan
24 June 2014

In a joint press statement during his working visit in Tokyo, President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his support to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stance to revisit certain interpretations of the Japanese government’s constitution with regards to collective self-defense.

“We believe that nations of goodwill can only benefit if the Japanese government is empowered to assist others, and is allowed the wherewithal to come to the aid of those in need, especially in the area of collective self-defense,” the President said, referring to the ongoing debates within the Japanese government whether there should be reinterpretation of its constitution allowing Japan to protect its allies and not just its own territory.

“We therefore do not view with alarm any proposal to revisit the Japanese constitution, if the Japanese people so desire, especially if this enhances Japan’s ability to address its international obligations, and brings us closer to the attainment of our shared goals of peace, stability, and mutual prosperity,” he added.

President Aquino said that the partnership between the Philippines and Japan is crucial to usher in regional stability. Adding that with the resurgence of Philippine economy and Japan’s revitalization, it will likewise further expand opportunities for its people.

“I believe that we share the position that, if we are to truly serve our respective peoples and uphold their interests, we must adapt to the changing world, bearing in mind their welfare and future,” he added.

President Aquino also expressed his gratitude to the government of Japan for their assistance at the wake of super Typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan) devastation. He likewise acknowledged Japan’s assistance through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in evaluating the country’s traffic system and in mapping out solutions to help improve it.

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