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Japan’s PM, Marcos talk, eye benefits

Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on Friday expressed hopes to promote better and stronger bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Japan and raise to a higher level all aspects of the relationship between the two countries.

Marcos made the statement after a 15-minute telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who called him on Friday to convey his congratulations.

“I thank Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for his warm congratulatory message via a phone call this morning. We were able to have a preliminary discussion about the Japan-Philippines partnership, which I said is very important and has been one of mutual benefit to our two countries,” Marcos said.

Marcos expressed hope of not only continuing but also increasing all engagements in every aspect of relations between the two countries.

Shortly after their talk, a statement posted on the website of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kishida assured Marcos that Japan has every intention of continuing the cooperation and official development assistance to the Philippines.

They intend to do this through the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation and Infrastructure and the Ministerial Meeting on Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Japan has been assisting the Philippines on various levels such as on the economic front that includes infrastructure development and security.

“I told him that I would like to deepen the cooperation in a wide range of fields in the future and we agreed to work together to strengthen it,” Marcos said.

Marcos said they also exchanged views on current regional developments and both of them have committed to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.

He added they also agreed to meet face-to-face as soon as possible and engage in a deeper dialogue.

Kishida said he wants to closely cooperate with Marcos toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to the Japanese foreign ministry.

The initiative has been promoted by Japan and the United States and is widely seen as a counter to China’s growing military and economic clout in the region.

Kishida also pledged to continue its ongoing economic and security support for the Philippines such as building infrastructure.

“Prime Minister Kishida expressed his wish for future close coordination with President-elect Marcos for the realization of a ‘Free and Open Indo Pacific,’ and the two leaders concurred on future coordination to realize regional peace and prosperity,” a press release from the Japan Embassy in Manila read.

“The two leaders concurred on holding an in-person meeting as early as possible and deepening the discussion going forward.”

Earlier this week, Marcos Jr. also received congratulatory phone calls from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chinese President Xi Jin Ping.

In his conversation with Xi, Marcos Jr. said that China and the Philippines “must not allow what conflicts or difficulties we have now between our two countries to become historically important.”

 

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