Japanese FM to visit Philippines, will discuss bilateral ties

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02:07 PM January 8th, 2013

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By: Fat Reyes, January 8th, 2013 02:07 PM

Japan Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. AFP file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will be in Manila for two days to discuss bilateral and regional issues with Philippine officials, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

In a statement, the DFA said Kishida will be in Manila from January 9 to 10 for an official visit —his first overseas trip since his appointment by Japan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on December 26, 2012.

The DFA said during his visit, Kishida will meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to discuss bilateral relations, regional issues, and the foreign policy priorities of the new Japanese leadership.

Kishida is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III, the DFA said.

The DFA described Kishida’s visit as an opportunity for both countries to advance a Strategic Partnership under the new Japanese administration.

“Japan is one of only two strategic partners of the Philippines and is one of the most important economic partners in terms of trade, investments and development assistance,” the DFA said.

The minister’s visit comes as both countries are embroiled in territorial disputes with China overs islands and atolls in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

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