Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo
14 December 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked the people and the government of Japan for welcoming the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as they celebrate the 40th year of ASEAN-Japan relations.

In his statement during the first session of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit, President Aquino said that the solidarity that the people of ASEAN and Japan have shown the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Yolanda reflect their sincere and true regard for the welfare of the Filipino people. The support of the international community, he said, shows that the Philippines is not alone in managing and preparing for natural calamities and other matters.

“We live in a single planet; and it is incumbent upon all of us—especially for the countries that have the capacity to contribute significantly in combating climate change—to come up with an equitable mechanism that every nation, every corporation, and every individual will adhere to. I have personally witnessed the degree of devastation wrought by Haiyan, and it is my belief that we all have a crucial role to play in ensuring that my nation—or any nation for this matter—does not once more suffer through a tragedy of this scale,” the President said.

Moreover, President Aquino said that the Philippines is looking forward to the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which will be held in Japan in 2015 because it will provide the Philippines another opportunity to expand definite actions towards building stronger communities and in addressing natural disasters and climate change as well.

“Excellencies, as we move to deepen our partnership, we must never forget that we can only maximize our opportunities for growth in a wider regional and international community in which all nations adhere to the rule of law and work to promote peace and stability. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to remain committed to the principles of international law and to continue to engage each other in a positive and productive manner, as we tread the straight path to mutual prosperity and advancement in the Asia-Pacific,” added the President.

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