Japan’s Prime Minister Abe arriving in PH on Friday

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the Philippines this weekend, arriving in the country just after his party won control of the Japanese Parliament on Sunday, July 21, 2013. AP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the Philippines this weekend, arriving in the country just after his party won control of the Japanese Parliament on Sunday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday Abe would be in Manila on July 26 and 27, confirming earlier Japanese press reports the official was considering visits to Southeast Asia this month.

During the two-day visit, Abe is expected to meet with President Aquino “to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues, and further advance the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan,” the DFA said.

Twofold purpose

“The visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will no doubt achieve a twofold purpose: It will strengthen the personal relationship between the Prime Minister and President Aquino, and it will serve to further enhance the invaluable strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told the Inquirer in a text.

Abe returns to the Philippines seven years since his last visit in December 2006, during his first term as Prime Minister. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party scored an overwhelming victory in last Sunday’s Japanese elections.

He visits just as the Philippines and Japan face a common challenge in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and the East China Sea, respectively, where both nations are contending with territorial claims made by regional heavyweight China.

Strategic partner

Japan is one of only two Philippine strategic partners, the other being the United States.

Japan was the Philippines’ top trading partner in 2012 with roughly $16.33 billion, or P700 billion, in total bilateral trade last year and some P69.4 billion in approved investments.

It is also the largest source of official development assistance (ODA) with $593.3 million, or P24 billion, in both grant and loan aid disbursements in 2011, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This accounts for around 40 percent of total ODA disbursements that year, the largest piece of the pie ahead of the United States’ $541.3 million or P22 billion.

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  • joboni96

    japan ang tamang ally

    pati asean sokorea taiwan india russia
    hindi ang recolonizing imperialist u.s.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      better have imperial china. american hater they will love your azz, and again what countries is america colonizing dumb dumb none so quit your lies

      • izakyakov

        better have US rather done a greed retard and uncivilized china.

      • joboni96

        betterer PILIPINO

        pero di maisip ng
        kolonisadong utak mo yan

      • joboni96

        ang bulag na praning na naman

  • upupperclassman

    The grandson of a WW 2 war criminal will be visiting Philippines.

    • izakyakov

      views from chinks.

    • opinyonlangpo

      That is true. No one can choose their ancestors. It is what has become of the grandson that matters.

  • blue_lights

    Penge ng pasalubong na Gundam, ha? Thanks!

  • delpillar

    ASAHI NEWS BUREAU 2013-July-24:

    Abe to soon restart debate on right to collective self-defense

    =======================

    With a clear road ahead to push his pet policies, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he plans to resume discussions on lifting a ban on the right to collective self-defense as early as August.

    His first hurdle is to seek the understanding of his party’s coalition partner, which is wary of the move.

    “We will proceed with discussions, looking at what is necessary to protect the public when the national security environment is undergoing significant change,” Abe told a news conference at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party headquarters on July 22.

    Abe’s plan is for his private advisory panel on national security legislation to reopen and speed up discussions.

    The right of collective self-defense allows Japan to launch counter-strikes when an ally comes under attack. The Cabinet has said Japan has the right under international laws but that the Constitution prohibits the country from exercising it.

    New Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, has urged caution on rushing to lift the ban.

    “There is a possibility of raising additional concern if the interpretation of the Constitution is changed overnight,” New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi told reporters at a separate conference the same day.

    At his news conference, Abe stated: “We will continue to make efforts to gain New Komeito’s understanding.”

    In addition to a change in the interpretation of the Constitution, Abe said a legal framework will be necessary to ensure Japanese troops can respond based on specific provisions.

    The LDP is preparing a bill for a basic law on national security, which will define procedures for exercising the right to collective self-defense.

    Abe said he believes the bill should be submitted by the government, not lawmakers. A government-sponsored bill, unlike one drawn up by lawmakers, has to undergo strict scrutiny by the Cabinet Legislation Bureau to ensure its consistency with the Constitution.

    Abe said he will consult with party members on the issue.

    As for constitutional revisions, Abe said he will take time in securing public support.

    “We will develop conditions for holding a national referendum,” a necessary step for revising the Constitution, Abe said. “After that, we will seek to deepen discussions with the public.”

    Abe said he will decided whether to reshuffle LDP executives and Cabinet ministers from the standpoint of moving policies forward in response to calls from the public.

    Still, Abe plans to retain Shigeru Ishiba, who spearheaded the LDP campaign for the July 21 Upper House election, as secretary-general following the party’s resounding victory, sources said. Ishiba’s term expires in September.

    Abe reiterated that he will continue to give top priority to economic recovery.

    “Dragging Japan out of 15-year-long deflation can be called a historic undertaking,” he said. “We will concentrate our efforts on it.”

  • Dog

    kahit pahiramin nyo lang ng gamit kami na bahala sa chekwa, balik na lang namin pag katapos hehehe

  • Batman

    Buy Made in Japan! No to Made in China!.

    My original first generation G-Shock Made in Japan is still working.

    My Made in China CD-R King watch is still working… as a paper weight.

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