President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that his three-day visit to Japan has been very fruitful, noting that Philippines-Japan ties remain excellent as the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on the basis of shared interests.
“My meetings in Tokyo were productive with specific gains in various areas of economic, socio-political security and defense cooperation,” the President said in his arrival statement at Davao International Airport.
“I discussed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in full detail the state of Philippines-Japan ties and we identified points of collaboration that will lead to a common path towards the achievement of shared objectives,” he added.
In security and defense cooperation, both countries recognized the importance of vibrant political and defense exchanges as they build a stable and secure regional environment.
He said Japan will play a vital role in modernizing the Philippines’ capacities as a nation with maritime interests to protect.
The acquisition of more maritime and air capability assets are crucial in addressing piracy, criminality at sea and terrorism, as well as in responding to disasters, he said.
The two countries also put strong emphasis on adherence to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes, and agreed to work closely to advance a rules-based regime to maintain stability and security in the region, the President said.
Everyone in the region and beyond has a stake in the South China Sea, he said, adding both governments committed themselves to ensure the freedom of navigation and overflight in those waters.
President Duterte and Prime Minister Abe also focused on forging stronger economic cooperation and the President said he encouraged private Japanese businesses to invest in the Philippines.
The President reported that among the deals signed between the businesses were investments in manufacturing and agriculture that will generate considerable number of jobs. Japan is also well-placed to remain as the Philippines’s top trading partner.
Japan will also continue to support the peace and development agenda in Mindanao, as the Duterte administration strives to attain lasting peace in the south.
The two countries also agreed to harness Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country, according to the President. PND