Statements by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Documents Exchange Ceremony and Joint Press Occassion

Speeches 9 February 2023

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER FUMIO KISHIDA: In this year of our 50th Anniversary of Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation, I extend my heartfelt welcome to President Marcos for his first visit to Japan as President.

Philippines is Japan’s neighbor across the ocean and is a strategic partner sharing fundamental values. Today, discussion was held with President Marcos on bilateral cooperation on economy, security and defense, and people-to-people exchange, and deepening of cooperation in wide-ranging areas were strongly affirmed.

First, regarding the economic cooperation, the economic development of the Philippines will be a big economic opportunities for both of our countries to support the Economic Development Plan of the Philippines to become upper-middle-income country and conveyed that by March 2024, public-private assistance of 600 billion yen will be provided. As a part of it, exchange of notes just took place on rail development.

Also, in respect of the priority areas of Marcos administration based on a series of MOCs signed this time, we concurred to advance efforts in agriculture and ICT by utilizing state-of-the-art technology.

With regards to our security cooperation, I explained to the President such matters as Japan’s national security strategy and the President welcomed Japan’s commitment to the free and open international order based on rules.

The President and I welcomed the signing of the TOR concerning the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities of the Japan SDF and agreed to continue exploring a framework to strengthen and facilitate such activities as joint exercises.

We will also look into ways to promote our defense equipment and technology cooperation and to strengthen cooperation amongst the Japan, the United States, and the Philippines.

During our working dinner after this, recognizing the severe and complex international situations, we plan to have an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international situations including our collaboration towards realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

President Marcos’ visit to Japan gives us a renewed momentum for our two nations to further upgrade our bilateral partnerships, we have seen in many areas over the recent years to an even higher dimension, and for us to make further contributions to the peace and stability of the region and the world.

PRESIDENT FERDINAND R. MARCOS JR.: Thank you very much, Your Excellency, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio; the honorable members of the Japanese and Philippine delegations; members of the Press Corps; ladies and gentlemen, good evening

The Prime Minister and I have just had a deeply engaging bilateral meeting covering the full range of Philippines-Japan bilateral relations. And after our meeting, I can confidently say that our Strategic Partnership is stronger than ever as we navigate, together, the rough waters buffeting our region.

The future of our relationship remains full of promise, as we continue to deepen and expand our engagements across a wide range of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Today, Prime Minister Kishida and I witnessed the forging of agreements that further cemented our commitment to our Strategic Partnership. And I would like to highlight them one by one:

– The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Information and Communications Technology demonstrates our two countries’ plans to cooperate in the new global and digital economy, thus providing added connectivity in every facet of our relationship;

– The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Agricultural Cooperation is aligned with my priority to harness the agricultural sector and to ensure food security – and together with our partners such as Japan, we look forward to the success of this program;

– The signing of the Diplomatic Notes (and Loan Agreements) on the North-South Commuter Railway Project and Extension highlights the value that we place in connectivity and improving transportation services. It is also a testament to Japan’s contribution in uplifting the daily lives of ordinary Filipinos by sharing Japanese technology and expertise in infrastructure and connectivity;

– The signing of the Terms of Reference on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief underscores our joint efforts to value human lives above all and to ensure that we remain resilient and responsive amidst natural and man-made disasters.

Finally, the Prime Minister and I have agreed to cooperate even more closely in areas of economic cooperation, security and defense cooperation, maritime security and safety, healthcare mechanisms, environmental commitments, and people-to-people exchanges. Furthermore, there are cultural cooperation, regional peace initiatives, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, amongst others.

This afternoon, the First Lady and I also had the distinct honor of having an audience with Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan. We had a memorable conversation and I deeply appreciate the Imperial audience accorded to me and the First Lady. I have extended an invitation to Their Majesties to visit the Philippines at the most convenient time.

Tomorrow, I will be meeting with more Japanese companies and business leaders for the business portion of this visit, to highlight the economic performance of the Philippine economy and to showcase the business and investment-friendly policies and programs of this administration.

I wish once again to thank Prime Minister Kishida for his kind invitation to visit one of the Philippines’ closest neighbors and closest friends. We hope to welcome Prime Minister Kishida to the Philippines for a return visit in the very near future.

Thank you very much. Maraming salamat po. Domo arigato gozaimasu.

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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)