Intervention of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for the First Session of ASEAN-JAPAN Commemorative Summit

Speeches 17 December 2023

Thank you, your Excellency Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

I thank Prime Minister Kishida for graciously hosting us. Tokyo wa subarashii desu this time of year.

I also thank Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin for Thailand’s very able coordination of ASEAN-Japan Relations.

As we near the end of Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN, I wish to congratulate our co-Chair, President Joko Widodo, for the very successful Chairmanship. Also allow me to convey the Philippines’ support for our incoming Chair, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone of Lao PDR.

It has been ten years since ASEAN Member States and Japan met here, in Tokyo, for the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation under the “Thoughts Connected, Future Connected” theme.

Today, ten years into the future envisioned, we welcome the conferment of Comprehensive Partner Status to Japan, ASEAN’s “Trusted Partner”.

It is a fitting conferment as our partnership has truly built strategic trust across all of the ASEAN community.

We cannot overemphasize that trust is the basis of peace, a trust based on deeds and not merely words, especially on a geopolitical environment increasingly characterized by disruptions, by violation to the international rule of law, as we face common yet complex challenges together.

Challenges including intercontinental ballistic missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and unilateral actions in the East and South China Sea continue to threaten peace and stability in our region.

We cannot also discuss peace and stability in our region without recognizing the need to address the worsening violence and the plight of the people of Myanmar through proactive engagement of all the stakeholders involved.

While the seat beside us remains empty, Myanmar remains a member of ASEAN and, as a family, we should be ready to help in alleviating the situation through the Five Point Consensus, the United Nations mechanisms, as well as the AHA Center.

Japan has proven to be ASEAN’s trusted, constant, and reliable partner in maritime security and cooperation, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief or HADR within ASEAN mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus.

We look forward to Co-Chairing with Japan the ADMM Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security for 2024 to 2027.

We trust that, through our joint efforts, we can also advance partnership on climate change, marine environmental protection, HADR, maritime security, military medicine, counterterrorism, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian mine action, and more recently, cybersecurity.

And while we address common threats to peace, we also encourage continued partnership for the environment.

We call on Japan to support efforts towards achieving carbon neutrality to reduce the effects of global warming which will benefit our disaster-prone communities.

We also call for climate action as we promote biodiversity management, green technologies and circular economy, and the blue economy has also become an important part of that formula.

It is in this light that we wholeheartedly welcome Japan’s initiative to hold the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Summit tomorrow.

On the part of the Philippines, we are ready to support the concrete outcomes of the recent 28th Session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC or COP 28 in Dubai, particularly the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund, and we in the Philippines are open to host the Headquarters of the Board of the Fund.

I wish to emphasize that natural disasters adversely affect food security. We thank Japan’s continued support through the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve, projects under the ASEAN Food Security Information System promoting sustainable agriculture, as well as the ASEAN-JICA Food Value Chain Development Project.

We also look forward to future cooperation towards enhancing resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems through new technologies and innovation to ensure regional food security, and the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines for Sustainable Agriculture.

As ASEAN-Japan relations grow, we look to the future as we promote youth and people-to-people exchanges across all sectors, including culture and the arts, sports, and tourism.

And lastly, we welcome the adoption of the Joint Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and that would build a world where shared principles and values are ensured, and all countries can exercise their rights under the rule of law, pursuing peace, freedom, and prosperity.

As we look forward to many more years of meaningful cooperation, we are energized by the plethora of opportunities that this “trusted partnership” has made possible.

Honto ni, domo arigatou gozaimashita.

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