Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left), House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Speaker’s office)
House Speaker Martin Romualdez personally gave a glowing compliment to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio after the special joint session of Congress on Saturday morning, Nov. 4.
“I told him after his speech, at the legislative lounge, that we always thought of him to be an upcoming great world leader and a statesman,” Romualdez told reporters in a chance interview shortly after Kishida’s historic address before Philippine lawmakers.
“Today, he affirmed that,” the House leader said.
Romualdez underscored Kishida’s “dedication to world peace and regional security”. This, even as international order was under “serious threat”, as described by the Prime Minister in his speech.
“And yet, he had the compassion to speak about projects being downloaded here in the Philippines,” Romualdez noted.
“And, in fact, he’s on his way to inspect construction sites where there will be some of the rail projects,” he added.
The House Speaker was referring to Kishida’s visit to the Metro Manila Subway Project depot site in Valenzuela City.
The subway project is among the nine big-ticket transport projects being built on the back of ¥1.315 trillion worth of Japanese aid, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“So he’s very much a man whose feet is on the ground, but [has] a very good grasp of the worldview and how peace must reign in the region,” Romauldez further said of Kishida.
Kishida also disclosed in his speech Japan’s commitment to defend a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). –Dexter Barro II
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