Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Tokyo
13 December 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing of various significant documents by the Philippine and Japanese governments during the bilateral meeting and working lunch hosted by the Japanese leader at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.
Through Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, the Exchange of Notes on a Post Disaster Stand-by Loan (PSDL) amounting to ¥50 billion or US$500 million which is in support of the Philippines’ post-typhoon Yolanda reconstruction efforts was signed. The Japanese government also committed to provide an amount of ¥6.6B in grants-in-aid as an addendum to the assistance that they previously provided.
The Exchange of Notes on the Yen Loan Project for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project Facility for the Philippines Coast Guard and the New Schedule for the Philippines-Japan Air Services Agreement were also signed by the ministers.
In his statement, Prime Minister Abe extended his sympathy to the Philippines for the damages caused by typhoon Yolanda and paid tribute to the admirable leadership of President Aquino in responding to the issue. He said that Japan wants to reciprocate the assistance given by the Philippines during the Great East Japan earthquake that occurred in 2011. Japan, he said, sent its Disaster Relief Team consisting of its medical personnel and the largest defense force contingent.
In relation to the issue on the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino reiterated the Philippines’ determination to follow a peaceful resolution and the need for an ASEAN-centric and mutual approach to conflict settlement. On the other hand, Prime Minister Abe said that “we cannot accept any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo through coercion or intimidation.” Likewise, he welcomed the Philippines’ firm stance in adapting a rules-based approach and the holding of a multilateral dialogue among concerned nations leading to the adoption of the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea dispute.
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