Stronger PH-Japan ties critical in regional economic dev't

Stronger PH-Japan ties critical in regional economic dev’t — Japan exec

/ 12:54 AM April 12, 2024

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa-REUTERS File Photo; Secretary Enrique Manalo of Department of Foreign Affairs

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Secretary Enrique Manalo of Department of Foreign Affairs |PHOTO: Reuters and Arnel Tacson, INQUIRER.net

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States — Stronger ties between the Philippines and Japan would be the key in maintaining an international rules-based order and boosting regional economic development, a Japanese official said on Thursday (Eastern time).

At the bilateral meeting between Philippine and Japanese officials, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamikawa Yoko told Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo that the multilayered network of cooperation between the two countries must be strengthened amid the “complex set of crises” that the world is facing.

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READ: Marcos arrives for PH-Japan-US summit in Washington, D.C. 

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“As the world is facing the complex set of crises, it is extremely important to strengthen multilayered network of cooperation through Japan-Philippine bilateral and Japan-US-Philippine trilateral cooperation in order to both maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, and promote regional economic regional development as well as address the world issues together,” Kamikawa said in her opening statement.

“Today, having in mind that the year 2026 will be the 70th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines. And I would like to discuss ways to further deepen international cooperation, including our bilateral cooperation and trilateral cooperation with the United States,” she added.

Kamikawa also said that it is good that both countries will participate in the trilateral meeting on Thursday afternoon.

READ: ‘Trilateral front’ formed vs Chinese incursions

The Philippines and Japan are two-thirds of the countries that will be engaged in a trilateral summit on Thursday, with the other being the United States (US) — which hosts the meeting in Washington.

“I’m also glad that we’re holding the very first Japan-US-Philippines Summit meeting this afternoon for the first time and building on the discussions among the foreign ministers and such an important timing, I’m really glad to have this bilateral meeting most of all in order to deepen our relationship,” Kamikawa noted.

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Manalo meanwhile believes that the ties between the two countries have improved dramatically since he and Kamikawa met last December 2023.

“Excellency, first, let me wish you and your delegation a very pleasant morning, and of course if you mentioned, we’re here not only to meet each other, but also to be part of a historic trilateral summit, and of course, your Prime Minister will also be addressing Congress,” Manalo said.

“So, I’m very happy to meet you again personally. I think the last time we met was in December of last year. And, I believe that since then, our bilateral relations have really expanded and grown as much stronger. So, I think it’s also very opportune and I thank you for proposing this meeting that – this is a good chance to go over the progress of our relationship, and also, I think ahead on how to strengthen it further,” he added.

The meeting between Manalo and Kamikawa are among the several events that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his delegation would attend to in a brief two-day official visit in the US.

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After separate bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Marcos would jointly meet the two in a trilateral summit.  Then, Marcos is expected to attend several other events with US businesses — including a dinner prepared by the US-Philippine Society with 200 business executives.

TAGS: economic development, Japan

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