Japan offers ¥1 trillion to PH
Deals on maritime security, infra dev’t, agriculture signed
Japan has offered a one trillion yen aid package to the Philippines in the next five years to promote economic and infrastructure development.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan announced the large financial aid package after holding summit talks with President Duterte in Malacañang.
Duterte and Abe later witnessed the signing of agreements to further enhance cooperation on maritime security, infrastructure development, and agriculture.
Closer than brother At the state banquet in
honor of visiting Japanese leader and his delegation in Malacañang, Duterte said the Philippines considers Japan “a friend closer than a brother” as both nations are committed to elevate their “tried and tested friendship” to greater heights.
He said the Philippines and Japan are “friends who treat each other with mutual respect and trust.” They are also bound by a shared common resolve to uphold democracy, adherence to the rule of law and a peaceful settlement of disputes.
“We are friends who constantly seek to invigorate relations through cooperation,” Duterte said.
“Ours is a special friendship whose value is beyond any measure. As countries and peoples that have a shared and meaningful history, we can look forward with confidence to a brighter future filled with ever-expanding opportunities for working together,” he added.
The Prime Minister, for his part, agreed that the relationship between the Philippines and Japan is “deep, warm, and brotherly or family-like relationship.”
Abe, accompanied by his wife Akie, Cabinet ministers, and business delegation, arrived in Manila for a two-day official visit that includes a stopover in Davao City today.
He is the first head of state to visit the Philippines since Duterte assumed office last June. His visit comes amid Manila’s efforts to boost ties with China and lessen reliance on Tokyo’s traditional ally the United States.
Business opportunities “For the further development of the Philippines, we will create business opportunities through ODA (official development assistance) and private sector investments which together will be of the order of 1 trillion yen over the next five years,” Abe said in his remarks.
A committee from both countries will be established to promote economic cooperation and implement infrastructure investments in the Philippines, according to Abe.
He said Japan is ready to provide technology and know-how “to the fullest extent” for the improvement of infrastructure in Metro Manila and the rest of the Philippines.
Japan is also committed to continue providing support for the peace and development in Mindanao. “A decision has been taken to start studies for the urban development and flood control of Davao City,” he added.
Abe also assured that Japan is willing to assist the Duterte government in carrying out drug rehabilitation efforts.
“On countering illegal drugs, we want to work together with the Philippines through relevant measures of support,” Abe said, adding he will encourage Japanese private sector to assist in the improvement of drug treatment facilities, formulation of treatment programs and other areas.
As both maritime nations, Abe said Japan will also enhance support for capacity-building of the Philippines in the field of maritime security.
Abe also welcomed the signing of exchange of notes on the provision of high speed patrol boats as a part of measures of security and counterterrorism. “We will strengthen cooperation in the area of counterterrorism in order to realize a society where it is possible for youths to entertain hopes,” he said.
Abe is in Manila to shore up economic and security cooperation with the Philippines.
“As proven defense and long-time partners, the Philippines and Japan are committed to further expand and deepen our relations across a broad range of areas,” President Duterte said in a joint press conference with Abe at the Palace.
Economic, social grant
The two leaders first witnessed the exchange of notes on the grant of economic and social deployment program. It involves Japan’s 600 million yen grant for high-speed patrol boats and other counter-terrorism equipment for the Philippine Coast Guard.
Duterte said they agreed to boost maritime and security cooperation, saying both nations have a shared interest in keeping their waters safe and secure from threats of any kind.
He said capacity-building and assets acquisition and upgrading will be a centerpiece of this collaboration on security cooperation. “We hope to fasttrack the delivery of the Philippine of key assets already in the pipeline and the acquisition of new ones,” he said.
The two countries also exchanged a memorandum of cooperation between their coast guards. The agreement involves maritime cooperation to promote maritime safety, security and marine environment protection.
“As we seek these new innovations to the Philippines’ capabilities, we will continue to forge ahead with our efforts to advance the rule of law in order to secure the waters in our regions,” the President said.
Another memorandum of cooperation was forged to promote low carbon growth by establishing a joint crediting mechanism. Under the accord, the Philippines and Japan will promote investments and the use of technologies, product systems services and infrastructure to achieve low carbon growth in the Philippines.
The Philippine Communications Operations Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of the Government of Japan also exchanged a memorandum of cooperation for the proof of concept and testing of road traffic information system through data broadcasting.
Also inked was the loan agreement and guarantee letter for Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation. The five-year project of the Land Bank of the Philippines involves financing eligible investments of agribusiness enterprises farmers’ organizations.
War on drugs
In the summit meeting, Duterte said he and Abe have also agreed to work together in pursing “a comprehensive approach” in the war on illegal drugs trade.
“As the Philippines pursues its campaign to destroy illegal drugs trade apparatus, we welcome the expressed interest of Japan to support measures to address the tremendous social cause of drug addiction, this includes rehabilitation,” Duterte said.
The two leaders also agreed to ramp up efforts to bring just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao. Duterte reiterated his gratitude to Japan for its continued support for Mindanao.
“Japan is a proven partner for peace in Mindanao and it will continue to be one. For Japan’s demonstrated and sustained support to bring peace to our people in Mindanao, we are grateful,” he said.
Apart from security cooperation, the two leaders also agreed to further strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.
Duterte said both governments would seek new areas of collaboration as well as to work on fulfilling the agreements signed in Tokyo last year during his visit.
“As part of those efforts, we are encouraging our business sectors to intensify two-way trade and investments. In fact, later today and in Davao, Prime Minister Abe and I will meet with the key business leaders,” Duterte said.
WARM WELCOME – President Duterte and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands after the welcoming ceremonies for the Japanese leader in Malacañang Thursday. The two are expected to discuss mutually important concerns, including the sensitive issue involving the South China Sea.
ABE VISIT – President Duterte and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe troop the line during welcome ceremonies for the Japanese leader in Malacañang Thursday. The two leaders are expected to discuss mutually important concerns, including the sensitive issue involving the South China Sea.