Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Friday (October 28) that the recently concluded official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan has yielded 12 business agreements valued at US$1.8 billion.
“These are not government contracts but private-to-private joint undertakings,” Abella said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
He likewise noted the commitment of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni to invest US$17.2 billion for mass transportation, roads, water and power projects.
“It was a very, very successful trip,” said Abella adding that the President was also warmly received by the Filipino community and the Japanese people. Recounting his conversation with his counterpart, Abella said the Japanese admired President Duterte for being a leader who has a genuine and deep love for his country.
For his part, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who was at the briefing, said Duterte’s recent visits to different neighboring countries have been bearing fruits already and have created an “unstoppable momentum.”
“President Duterte’s diplomatic initiatives have been highly effective and have been bearing fruit immediately.
We expect that this will continue in terms of delivery of projects, funds that will be a product of goodwill that he has worked for because it seems that the one-on-one diplomacy is one of the things that the President has mastered,” said Cayetano.
Aside from Japan, the President also visited Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, and China as part of his introductory visits to Philippines’ neighbor countries in the region.
Apart from various business agreements sealed during the President’s foreign trips, the senator said Duterte was also able to restore and strengthen “warm” relations with all the nations he visited particularly with China and Japan.
In Japan, Cayetano recalled the overly warm reception Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended to the President’s official delegation, which he said was a clear manifestation of the Japanese leader’s high regard for the current administration.
“Prime Minister Abe socialized with the whole delegation going from table-to-table graciously posing with us for pictures. And graciously engaging some short questions. When world leaders go off program or off protocol in a face-to-face diplomacy this is a very, very good news because this means that the relationship is really warming,” he said.
Cayetano likewise noted the country’s rekindling of ties with China which has resulted in securing multi-billion investments and loans from Beijing intended for infrastructure development, agriculture, energy, government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, among others.
Also during the briefing, Spokesperson Abella announced that Filipino fishermen have been allowed to fish in Panatag Shoal without being intercepted only a week after the state visit of Duterte in China.
“On fishing in Scarborough Shoals, for the past three days it has been observed that there are no longer any Chinese Coast Guard vessels and that Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted and that they are now able to fish in the area without being intercepted,” he said.PND