PH, Japan to boost relations

Boosting ties President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

NEW YORK: President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have agreed to intensify ties amid challenges in the regional security and economic landscape.

Marcos and Kishida reaffirmed their commitment during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly here.

“The two leaders met and discussed developments in Philippines-Japan bilateral relations. The two countries' Strategic Partnership, spanning 11 years now, witnessed tremendous growth and deepened cooperation in addressing their security and defense priorities, particularly in maritime security, maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement capacities and peace in Mindanao,” Press Secretary Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles said in a statement.

They also vowed “to reinforce ties and strengthen cooperation in response to the challenges and opportunities in the regional security and economic landscape,” Cruz-Angeles added.

Marcos noted that 66 years since the normalization of bilateral ties, the Philippines and Japan “have fostered one of the closest partnerships in the region.”

He shared his administration's priorities particularly in the field of agriculture and food security, energy security, infrastructure development and cybersecurity.

Kishida reiterated Japan's commitment to support the Philippines' aspirations to become an upper middle income country.

Kishida was among the first world leaders to interact with Marcos after the President won last May's elections.

In a 15-minute phone call last May, the Japanese leader sought Marcos' support for “the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Kishida promised to continue Tokyo's cooperation with Manila on the economic front such as infrastructure development, including railways and the development of Subic Bay.

Marcos, who is on a state visit to the United States, also met with World Bank President David Malpass and former United Kingdom prime minister Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.

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