13 January 2017

Japan to infuse 1 trillion yen support to the Philippines
Japan will help support the creation of business opportunities in the Philippines worth 1 trillion yen, announced a top Japanese government official.

“Japan will support to create business opportunities approximately 1 trillion yen level for over the next five years, including a Japanese ODA, Official Development Assistance and private investments for the Philippines,” said Japanese Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura.

Kawamura who is in the country with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, spoke at a press briefing in Malacanan for local and foreign media on Thursday, January 12.

The Japanese Press Secretary said to realize this 1 trillion support to the Philippine economy, Japan would establish a joint committee on economic cooperation and infrastructure and would also send experts to the National Economic Development Authority.

He also said Japan will contribute to infrastructure development in the Philippines in transportation and electric generation by taking advantage of the Japanese technology.

Kawamura said Japan will spur the development of Davao City and the conflict affected areas in the country through support in irrigation, road construction, power generation and education.

To strengthen the security of the country and its anti-terrorism efforts, Japan will provide security related equipment, according to Kawamura.

The Japanese official said in the area of maritime security and defense, Japan will support through capacity building, equipment and training exercises.

Kawamura also expressed Abe’s desire to cooperate proactively on the issues of the region together with the Philippines as the Chair of ASEAN.

“The ASEAN’s solidarity and centrality should be strengthened and it is important to develop ASEAN as an open community,” said Kawamura.

On the South China Sea, Kawamura underscored the importance of the rule of law and its peaceful resolution.

Commenting on Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Davao particularly to the hometown of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, he said that is something the Prime Minister is really looking forward to.

Finally, Kawamura repeated what President Duterte said during the latter’s official visit to Japan: “Japan and the Philippines are not simply friends but we are more than that. We are brothers.”

“So this represents how our two countries are close in terms of relations. This is an eloquent reflection of the existing confidence, trust to the Philippines,” added Kawamura.###PND

Japanese First Lady Akie Abe visits Japanese cemetery in Davao City
Davao City — Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visited Mintal Public Cemetery here on Friday as she joined her husband in a two-day official visit in the Philippines.

The village of Mintal is called the “Little Tokyo of Prewar Philippines” as it used to be the home of several Japanese nationals who came here to work in abaca plantations about a century ago.

Local folks cheered and greeted Akie upon her arrival. She was accompanied by Honeylet Avanceña, common-law wife of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Akie offered a wreath at the Monument of the Dead.

She also visited the Monument of No Regret to commemorate the long friendship between Davao and Japan. The friendship monument was built in 2013 when Duterte was still the mayor of the city.

After the ceremony, Akie interacted with the people in the community before leaving the historic place.

Before going to the cemetery, Akie and Abe enjoyed a hearty breakfast hosted by President Duterte in his humble home.

Heart of banana salad, monggo soup, variety of rice cakes, black tea and buko juice were included in the food items served to the Japanese guests, according to Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag.

“It was something comfortable for both of them,” said Banaag when asked about the mood during the extraordinary occasion.

“He (Abe) enjoyed the simplicity because it is not something that’s Japanese. It’s something new to him,” she added.###Maro-Content

President Duterte, Prime Minister Abe meet investors in Davao business forum
DAVAO CITY– President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on Friday with Filipino and Japanese businessmen having discussions at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here in Davao City about investment opportunities in the Philippines.

Duterte and Abe had a photo opportunity with the Filipino and Japanese business groups, who joined the Prime Minister in his two-day official visit in the country.

In his speech, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez encouraged Japanese companies to invest in the Philippines.

He cited various reasons why foreign investors should invest in the country, including robust economic growth primarily driven by manufacturing, trade, real state, renting and other business activities.

He also said that the Filipino population is younger compared with the rest of the world with median age of 23.1 years. The Philippines is in a demographic sweet spot by having a young, employed, and more prosperous consumer-based population for the coming years, Lopez said.

He added that the country has human capital advantage over other destinations with its English-speaking, honest and creative workforce.

It is best to invest in the Philippines because its economy is powered by strategic investment flows, it has a comprehensive national industrial strategy and a clear 10 plus one economic agenda crafted by the Duterte administration, and has strategic location advantage over other countries, the DTI chief said.

After meeting the businessmen, Abe and the President proceeded to an event where a Philippine eagle was named as a symbol of the growing friendship and partnership of Philippines and Japan. The leaders’ spouses, Akie and Honeylet, also graced the event.

Abe adopted the eagle, which was named “Sakura” during Friday’s event at the Waterfront Hotel garden area.

Sakura is a female, juvenile Philippine eagle rescued by indigenous people in Talaingod in Davao Del Norte. The bird was found in a river bank with a gunshot injury in its left abdomen. It is being rehabilitated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation in its facility in Davao.

PEF reported that there are only 400 pairs of Philippine eagle left in the wild, hoping that Sakura’s successful rehabilitation would help boost the Philippine eagle population in the country.

Prior to Prime Minister Abe’s departure from Davao City, he visited the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD) in Lanang in this city, meeting students and teachers there.

Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku is a tertiary institution of the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai in Davao City, the school said in its website. It was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 18, 2001.

Among the courses being offered are BS International Studies and BS Social Services. In a brief period, MKD boasted having received accolades such as in the National Nihongo Speech Contest sponsored by the Japan Foundation in Manila.

MKD is established primarily to help the young Filipinos of the 21st century in the pursuit of academic excellence and service to humanity alongside their goal of becoming globally competitive.

Abe was the first head of state who visited the home city of Duterte.

Abe and his delegation left for Sydney around 12:30 p.m. Friday as he proceeds with his four-nation swing which will bring him to Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam after visiting the Philippines.###PND