WPS tensions take center stage as Marcos meets Kishida on official visit
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will discuss the situation in the West Philippine Sea during the latter’s visit to Manila on Friday.
In a statement released through Malacañang, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that Marcos and Kishida will discuss political, security, and economic cooperation between the two countries.
“Among the specific issues to be discussed are the West Philippine Sea, trade and investment, and Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). They will also exchange views on major regional, international, and United Nations issues affecting the region and the world,” said the DFA.
While neither the DFA nor Malacañang specified further, the meeting between the leaders came amid territorial tensions in the West Philippine Sea.
Japan, a key ally, had previously expressed interest in meeting with the Philippines to discuss the maritime disputes in the contested waters.
The meeting also follows the collision of Chinese and Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal, which the Philippine government has deemed to be an escalation of Beijing’s illegal activities.
Kishida will stay in the Philippines from Friday to Saturday.
On Saturday, Kishida will address the Philippine Congress in a special joint session at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.
The Japanese Prime Minister will speak to both chambers of Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate.