Joint Statement of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
South Conference Room, 3/F, Prime Minister’s Office, Tokyo, Japan
26 October 2016


May I once again express my heartfelt welcome to His Excellency President Duterte on your first visit to Japan after becoming the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

This year marks the milestone of the 60th anniversary of normalization of our diplomatic relations and the year opened with an auspicious event of Their Majesties, the Emperor and the Empress visiting the Philippines.

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome President Duterte, who has long served as the mayor of Davao, which has a long history of friendship with Japan and to have the second summit following our meeting last month.

Japan and the Philippines are important partners, both sharing fundamental values, including freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. During our talk today, based on such partnership, we had an extremely meaningful exchanges of opinions between President Duterte and we agreed to raise our bilateral relationship of cooperation to a level higher than before. Allow me to list a few of our achievements.

Both Japan and the Philippines are maritime nations and support to enhance maritime safety capability will be strengthened. I am very happy that we have just signed the documents covering the transfer of large patrol vessels as well as the letter of arrangement on the transfer of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force trainer aircraft TC-90s.

I welcome the agreement on the promotion of agriculture for the consolidation of peace in Mindanao. Japan supports the endeavors of President Duterte with regard to peace in Mindanao.

As part of our counter-terrorism measures, the transfer of high-speed small vessels and equipment has been decided. Cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism will continue to deepen going forward.

Infrastructure development will be strongly supported in both the metropolitan and Davao areas. In this regard, I welcome the signing today of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of information and communication technology.

I also had a valuable exchange of views between President Duterte regarding the exploration of peace and stability.

Regarding North Korea, the threat has risen at a new level due to nuclear missile development and therefore, we will collaborate in the adoption of new UN Security Council Resolution and in the strict implementation of relevant resolutions and will cooperate towards the end of a resolution of the adoption issue which is the foremost priority for the administration.

Next year, the Philippines will assume the chairmanship of ASEAN. I have conveyed my message that Japan will offer our utmost support to the Philippines.

The South China Sea issue is a matter of interest before the entire global community that is directly linked to regional peace and stability. With regard to the arbitration award, we have confirmed the importance of peaceful resolution of maritime disputes such as resolution in compliance with UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, amongst others, without resorting to threat or use of force.

In that regard, Japan welcomes the effort of President Duterte visiting China and endeavoring to improve and further advance the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China.

Taking this visit by President Duterte as another opportunity, I look forward to further deepening our bilateral bond of friendship and to cooperate together towards the stability and prosperity of the region and the international community.

Thank you.

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Thank you, Your Excellency. I take this opportunity to express gratitude for the warm welcome and exceptional arrangements accorded me and my delegation.

My meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was productive and fruitful. We reaffirmed strong ties between our countries and peoples and resolved to make that friendship and partnership even stronger.

We discussed a broad range of issues important to both sides and more importantly, agreed to work closely to ensure that shared objectives are accomplished.

We want to increase two-way trade and investments, especially in agriculture and manufacturing and look at various opportunities for new areas of collaboration.

These include the development of quality infrastructure and transport systems crucial in order to sustain the Philippines’ economic growth.

Japan’s Official Development Assistance for the Philippines is second to none in terms of real value and the positive impact on the lives of the Filipinos.

We agreed to continue harnessing ODA or the Official Development Assistance as a tool to bring about positive economic and structural changes in the Philippines.

We agreed to collaborate on political, security, and defense issues in order to create an enabling environment for our economies to grow.

Japan will continue to play an important role in modernizing the capabilities of the Philippines for maritime domain awareness and maritime security as well as in humanitarian relief and disaster risk reduction response.

We welcome the ongoing new initiatives by Japan that support the Philippine government’s effort to realize Mindanao’s full potential.

As the Philippines take on the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017, I sought and received Japan’s support and commitment to take an active role in the relevant meeting.

This is an important leadership role for the Philippines as we seek fully to realize the goal and rules-based, people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN.

Japan will be a crucial ASEAN dialogue partner in ensuring the efforts to strengthen adherence to the rule of law as the bedrock of stable and secure relation in the ASEAN region and beyond.

The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region and uphold the shared values of democracy, adherence to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes, including the South China Sea.

The full range of our relations over the past 60 years has shown that Japan is the Philippines’ special friend who is closer than a brother.

This visit has been a defining moment on the solid and strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan. Today, we have taken steps to ensure that our ties remain vibrant and will gain greater strength in the years to come. Thank you.