Abe reassures Japan’s support for ‘Build, Build, Build,’ Mindanao peace process
TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has reaffirmed to President Rodrigo Duterte Japan’s commitment to support the Philippines’ peace process in Mindanao and its multi-trillion infrastructure program.
“The government of Japan will continue our strong support for projects actively being promoted by the President such as the peace process in Mindanao and infrastructure development,” Abe said in a joint press statement at his office here.
Abe said “Mindanao peace process entered into a new stage with the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority last February.
“In the initial stage, I believe the priority lies in the strengthening of the administrative capacity of the Transition Authority and the facilitation of disarmament of soldiers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,” he said.
“Japan will strengthen our support attuned to the progress of the peace process so that the people of Mindanao can truly feel and enjoy the peace dividend at the earliest possible time,” he added.
Build, Build, Build
Abe also assured Duterte of his government’s strong support for the Philippine government’s flagship infrastructure project.
“Japan is proud to be the largest partner supporting President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program to actively develop infrastructure. We will continue to strongly support the sustainable economic development of the Philippines through assistance in quality infrastructure,” he said.
Abe said Japan welcomes “the decision made by the government of the Philippines to lift the import suspension of fishery products from Fukushima prefecture prior to the Presidential visit to Japan.”
He said “safety of agriculture, forestry and fishery products of Fukushima is ensured through thorough inspections and other measures.”
“Our government will continue to make outmost efforts to push for relaxation or removal of import restrictions imposed by some countries and wipe out the hurtful rumors,” he added.
Abel added that the Philippines and Japan will continue to be “strategic partners” and are “closely cooperating in the area of security as well.”
“While we will continue to engage in joint exercises and provide support in capacity building, we also intend to deepen our dialogue on the policy front,” he said.
“Both being maritime nations,” he said, “Japan and the Philippines share basic values and strategic interests.”
“During the course of the meeting this afternoon, we confirmed plans to strengthen our partnership as we confront such challenges as the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law, full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions towards the denuclearization of North Korea and early resolution of the abduction issue,” he said.
“With another milestone reached today, I look forward to working hand in hand with President Duterte to further deepen the bond of friendship between Japan and the Philippines and to contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity,” Abe added.
Abe also congratulated Duterte for his administration’s victory in the May 13 midterm elections.
“President Duterte, may I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the overwhelming victory that you had achieved in the recent midterm elections in your Republic,” he said.
“The result is a manifestation of the tremendous support shown to the President’s track record during the past three years,” he added. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)