DFA exec vows to pursue visa-free entry to Japan for Filipinos
MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) vowed on Wednesday to work with Japan on the visa-free entry of Filipinos to the neighboring country.
During the Commission on Appointments (CA) committee on foreign affairs hearing, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta hoped that Japan would allow Filipinos to enter their country without a visa.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano assured lawmakers: “Thank you for that suggestion… That is something that I can certainly pursue.”
Aside from the visa-free entry, the priority areas of the Philippine-Japanese bilateral ties are food security, energy, health, education, trade and investment, and tourism.
Recognizing ‘comfort women’
In other issues relating to Japan, Garcia-Albano said that the DFA recognizes the sufferings of Filipino “comfort women.”
“Comfort women” are individuals who were raped and enslaved by Japanese soldiers during the World War II.
Garcia-Albano committed to do what she can to extend help to comfort women.
“As their representative of the country in Japan, I will do all that I can to make sure that whatever our comfort women need, that they can have within the parameters of DFA positions on this matter. Rest assured that I’m there and I can help them to the extent that I can,” she said.
“I believe the current DFA position is that they recognize what the comfort women went through during World War II and I believe that’s their position,” she added.
Garcia-Albano’s ad-interim appointment as ambassador to Japan was confirmed by the CA plenary. Catherine Dabu, INQUIRER.net trainee
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