Marcos says Japan trip different from other visits: Groundwork is already there
TOKYO, Japan — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has maintained that his five-day official working visit to Japan is different from the other foreign trips he made, as interactions with the government and stakeholders have already been developed prior.
Marcos in an interview with reports on Wednesday while en route to Tokyo explained that in other visits that he made, there was an effort to introduce the Philippines to the world, but not the case for Japan.
“Actually sa Japan is different from the other places that we’ve been wherein we just opened up the conversations. Sa Japan, very well-developed na ‘yong mga interactions natin with G-to-G [government-to-government] even sa commercial,” the President said.
“So what we’re really having to do now is we are going to have to, we’re finalizing some of the projects that for example, were postponed because of the pandemic, lockdowns; and also now, some new projects that are follow-on from kung ano ‘yong dati,” he added.
It is also the reason why his supposed schedule has been “very specific” as foundation had been laid out already.
“So that’s why kung titignan niyo ‘yong [if you would see the] schedule very specific, may purpose ang bawat meeting, hindi ‘yong [every meeting has purpose, not about the] general introduction of the Philippines to the EU [European Union] or to another country,” he explained.
While this is Marcos’ first visit to Japan since assuming the presidency last June 30, he and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio have already met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York last September 2022.
READ: DFA: 7 key bilateral deals to be inked during Marcos’ visit to Japan
Furthermore, several government agencies and officials from the two countries have already met, like in the case of the Philippine Department of National Defense which has strongly advocated for the creation of a visiting forces agreement (VFA) with Japan.
READ: DND backs VFA with Japan to enable military exercises
Marcos also hopes that discussions would flourish, especially in the realm of agriculture, so that the country’s agricultural acceleration would take place.
“Well number one, their number one that opens up, hindi lamang the useful exchange of technology, but that’s an important part of it. But also, investment in agriculture, and hopefully opening markets in Japan for our agricultural products. So that’s a very wide-ranging discussion, so yes, we hope to do a lot on that regard para ma-accelerate ‘yong ating agricultural development,” he added.
Marcos along with his delegation arrived at the Tokyo International Airport at 5:36 p.m. (Tokyo time) earlier. He is expected to meet members of Japan’s Imperial Family, along with key government officials like Kishida.
READ: Bongbong Marcos arrives in Japan for five-day official visit
Marcos’ visit to Japan is his ninth official overseas trip since he took office. Prior to this, the President went to Indonesia and Singapore for his inaugural state visit, before flying off to New York for the UNGA.
He also went back to Singapore for business meetings in time for the Formula One Grand Prix, in a trip that was criticized by several progressive groups.
He then went to the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Cambodia, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand, the Asean-European Union meet in Belgium last December, before visiting China for another state visit and Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
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