Marcos: Japan trip ‘very productive’

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos speaks during a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on February 9, 2023. Kimimasa MAYAMA / POOL / AFP

TOKYO: President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has described as “very productive” his five-day working visit to Japan as it set down the “blueprint” for the bilateral ties between the Philippines and Japan.

“It has been a productive visit,” the President said in an interview with the Japanese press on Friday, citing a “historic” 35 key deals that were signed between the two countries.

The President also said that one of the highlights of his trip was his audience with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

“It was a very great honor for us to be able to meet him and again to reestablish that connection between the Philippines and Japan,” the President said.

Marcos said his working visit to Tokyo was a “particularly important visit” because it is “really setting down the blueprint for our relations as we slowly emerge from the pandemic economy.”

“And I think that we will be able to feel the effects of these discussions, of these agreements, very, very soon, very rapidly back home in the Philippines,” the President said.

“Those relations have grown and have become deeper as time has gone on, and we owe Japan a debt of gratitude for the support that they have given us in those years, even in the '60s, in the '70s and all the way up to now, where they have supported our infrastructure development,” he said.

The President added, “They have supported our agriculture, they have supported our attempts at making the digitalization of the Philippines a more widespread phenomenon.”

The Chief Executive said the 35 key agreements signed between the Philippines and Japan earlier in the day also “cut across the whole gamut.”

“We're talking about agri, we are talking about digitalization, we are talking about industry, we are talking about automotive development, we are talking about energy, even education, tourism,” he said.

The President also lauded the Japanese government and business leaders he met for being “very open in our discussions for the plans to help increase the development of our country.”

“[This is] in terms of again, those areas: infrastructure, digitalization, agriculture, some of the traditional areas with which we had always dealt with Japan, but some new areas, areas such as security and defense and also mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change,” Marcos said.

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