28 October 2016

Duterte praises Abe
(Tokyo, Japan)– Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a rousing welcome and hosted a dinner on Wednesday, October 26 for Philippine President Rodrigo  Duterte during the latter’s first visit to Japan as state leader.

Abe said there is a deep, warm, family-like or brotherly relationship bond between the Philippines and Japan. 

“My sincere hope is to develop our future in full bloom together with Mr. President,” Abe said in his opening speech.

Abe recalled Duterte having a passion for Washoku Japanese cuisine. “That is exactly why I took the initiative to prepare the Washoku for you tonight. If you like it, please do come back to Japan as you wish to enjoy another batch of Washoku,” Abe said.

Abe revealed why Mindanao has close ties to Japan. “You are from a developed city where you served as a mayor for many, many years. Even back in those days, I understand that you took time to attend to His Majesty’s dinner birthday reception for a lot of times and for Japan, Mindanao is a dear friend. We have been helping Mindanao for many, many years and in honor of this friendship, I also  invited those who have deep ties with Mindanao to this banquet tonight,” he said.

Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, visited this part of Japan during his youth and wrote  that the two nations would enjoy various exchanges and develop good relationship in the future. 

“As he envisioned a long time ago, we now enjoy the relationship, which has been developed in every area,  including political and economic cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges,” Abe said.

Duterte said in response to Philippines-Japan cemented friendship, “It is a relationship borne out by mutual respect and trust. It is a relationship strengthened by a common commitment to uphold democracy’s adherence to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes. As countries and peoples that have shared a meaningful history, we now look forward to a future together as we chart a common path towards our aspiration for greater peace, progress, and prosperity.”

On Philippines-Japan strategic partnership, Duterte said, “Our security and defense cooperation is vibrant, our political exchanges are active, our economic cooperation is impressive; our partnership for peace in Mindanao and in the region is visible. Our commitment to inclusive growth and development is undeniable.”  

While Duterte was mayor of Davao City, he saw Japan’s support for the people of Mindanao. “As a son of Mindanao and former mayor of Davao City, I have seen first-hand the depth and breadth of Japan’s involvement in Mindanao’s development. As President and as a Filipino, it is my vision that the whole Philippines will have the same positive experience,” he said. 

The Philippines is thankful for Japan’s demonstration of concern and the respect it continues to uphold for the Filipino people. PND

Duterte visits Japan Coast Guard
(Yokohama, Japan)—President Rodrigo Duterte visited the Japan Coast Guard on Thursday (October 27) wherein he was shown firsthand the Japan Coast Guard’s capability in disaster and rescue response.

The Japan Coast Guard showed Duterte a chasing exercise, which demonstrated their capability  in capturing criminals at sea, particularly during hijacking incidents, and their speedy response in rescue operations at sea.

Duterte arrived at around 12:40 pm at the Japanese Coast Guard Headquarters here in Yokohama, where he was ushered to the patrol vessel “Uzi.”

The President was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.

According to Duterte, he wants the country to have more capability for sea patrols, from rubber boats to frigates for the Philippine Coast Guard.

“Japan is the number one donor in terms of assistance and help, including some of the vessels that we have been shown here, especially the light ones, the rubber boats, it’s for mobility,” Duterte said.

“Iyan ang kailangan ko. Hindi ako masyadong kailangan ng aircraft carrier,” Duterte said, noting that the Philippines is composed of more than 7,000 islands and would need inland patrols.

Duterte said two rubber boats may be posted on Manila Bay, specifically for the Bureau of Customs.

“I think (Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto) Yasay would like to ask to have two agad for the Customs, diyan lang sa Manila Bay area,” he said.

According to Duterte, his first visit to Japan has been very productive. “I’m satisfied with, of course, with the generous offer of Japan,” he said.

The Chief Executive meanwhile said that the Philippines’ war on drugs had been among the range of topics he discussed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We had almost about four hours of talk time and it covered a wide range of issues that would affect both countries,” Duterte said.

“I told him that my visit here is to reaffirm the friendship and cooperation and the solidarity of the Filipino people with the Japanese,” he added, noting that Japan is the number one donor in terms of assistance to the Philippines.PND

Duterte: Japan trip a huge success
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that his three-day visit to Japan has been very fruitful, noting that Philippines-Japan ties remain excellent as the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on the basis of shared interests.

“My meetings in Tokyo were productive with specific gains in various areas of economic, socio-political security and defense cooperation,” the President said in his arrival statement at Davao International Airport.

“I discussed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in full detail the state of Philippines-Japan ties and we identified points of collaboration that will lead to a common path towards the achievement of shared objectives,” he added.

In security and defense cooperation, both countries recognized the importance of vibrant political and defense exchanges as they build a stable and secure regional environment.

He said Japan will play a vital role in modernizing the Philippines’ capacities as a nation with maritime interests to protect.

The acquisition of more maritime and air capability assets are crucial in addressing piracy, criminality at sea and terrorism, as well as in responding to disasters, he said.

The two countries also put strong emphasis on adherence to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes, and agreed to work closely to advance a rules-based regime to maintain stability and security in the region, the President said.

Everyone in the region and beyond has a stake in the South China Sea, he said, adding both governments committed themselves to ensure the freedom of navigation and overflight in those waters.

President Duterte and Prime Minister Abe also focused on forging stronger economic cooperation and the President said he encouraged private Japanese businesses to invest in the Philippines.

The President reported that among the deals signed between the businesses were investments in manufacturing and agriculture that will generate considerable number of jobs. Japan is also well-placed to remain as the Philippines’s top trading partner.

Japan will also continue to support the peace and development agenda in Mindanao, as the Duterte administration strives to attain lasting peace in the south.

The two countries also agreed to harness Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support inclusive growth and sustainable development in the country, according to the President. PND

Japan visit yields US$1.8B in business deals – Palace
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on Friday (October 28) that the recently concluded official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan has yielded 12 business agreements valued at US$1.8 billion.

“These are not government contracts but private-to-private joint undertakings,” Abella said at a press briefing in Malacañang.

He likewise noted the commitment of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni to invest US$17.2 billion for mass transportation, roads, water and power projects.

“It was a very, very successful trip,” said Abella adding that the President was also warmly received by the Filipino community and the Japanese people.

Recounting his conversation with his counterpart, Abella said the Japanese admired President Duterte for being a leader who has a genuine and deep love for his country.

For his part, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who was at the briefing, said Duterte’s recent visits to different neighboring countries have been bearing fruits already and have created an “unstoppable momentum.”

“President Duterte’s diplomatic initiatives have been highly effective and have been bearing fruit immediately.

We expect that this will continue in terms of delivery of projects, funds that will be a product of goodwill that he has worked for because it seems that the one-on-one diplomacy is one of the things that the President has mastered,” said Cayetano.

Aside from Japan, the President also visited Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, and China as part of his introductory visits to Philippines’ neighbor countries in the region.

Apart from various business agreements sealed during the President’s foreign trips, the senator said Duterte was also able to restore and strengthen “warm” relations with all the nations he visited particularly with China and Japan.

In Japan, Cayetano recalled the overly warm reception Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended to the President’s official delegation, which he said was a clear manifestation of the Japanese leader’s high regard for the current administration.

“Prime Minister Abe socialized with the whole delegation going from table-to-table graciously posing with us for pictures. And graciously engaging some short questions. When world leaders go off program or off protocol in a face-to-face diplomacy this is a very, very good news because this means that the relationship is really warming,” he said.

Cayetano likewise noted the country’s rekindling of ties with China which has resulted in securing multi-billion investments and loans from Beijing intended for infrastructure development, agriculture, energy, government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, among others.

Also during the briefing, Spokesperson Abella announced that Filipino fishermen have been allowed to fish in Panatag Shoal without being intercepted only a week after the state visit of Duterte in China.

“On fishing in Scarborough Shoals, for the past three days it has been observed that there are no longer any Chinese Coast Guard vessels and that Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted and that they are now able to fish in the area without being intercepted,” he said.PND