Friday, June 5, 2015

Statement of President Aquino during the summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

Statement of President Aquino during the summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

summit meeting with Shinzo Abe

Statement of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III President of the Philippines During the summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
[Delivered at the Akasaka State Guest House, Tokyo, Japan, on June 4, 2015]

Your Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, members of the press; ladies and gentlemen:  Good evening.

I express my gratitude to Their Majesties, the Emperor and the Empress, the Prime Minister, and the Government of Japan—the people of Japan, for the honor of being invited as a State Guest, and for the warm hospitality with which the Japanese government and its people have welcomed me and my delegation. Indeed, these past few days, we have had the good fortune of experiencing what the Japanese people call “omotenashi.”

This State Visit has been a major opportunity to deepen the friendship between our nations. The spectrum of cooperation between Japan and the Philippines is vast, and I am proud to announce that we have made significant strides in nearly all aspects of our relations.

First and foremost, we have affirmed that the Strategic Partnership between our two countries has entered an enhanced and elevated stage. Today, we issued a Joint Declaration on our Strengthened Strategic Partnership, which highlights the values and goals that tie our nations together: peace, security, growth, and prosperity for our peoples and for the region-at-large.

We have also made progress in areas that can directly enhance the security and well-being of our people. For instance, we witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation for Healthcare between the Department of Health and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This memorandum will allow us to share our knowledge on social health insurance, public hospital management, advanced technology, disaster preparedness, and human resources development, towards achieving our goal of universal health care.

The Philippines likewise reiterated its appreciation for Japan’s role in the Bangsamoro Peace Process. They facilitated the first meeting between myself and the leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, despite being given short notice. These helped us build the necessary trust to move forward with the peace process. Moving forward, the Philippines is truly grateful for Japan’s continued support in this endeavor.

The vibrant economic relations between our nations add even more reason for optimism. Japan, after all, remains the Philippines’ largest bilateral trading partner, and is a leading source of investments. The continuous good governance initiatives in the Philippines, together with the skill and talent of the Filipino people, provides much reason for optimism; after all, it sets the stage for greater synergies between our economies. I am confident that, moving forward, the Philippines will continue to be an ideal hub for Japanese businesses to gain inroads especially in the integrated ASEAN market.

One of the most important reforms we are undertaking to improve the investment climate is infrastructure development. In this regard, Japan’s Official Development Assistance has been vital. We have also agreed to enhance our high-level interactions and our people-to-people exchanges, which will likewise have a positive effect on our economies. In particular, we welcome the increasing tourism between our countries. In fact, last year, the Philippines was Japan’s fastest growing tourism market in the ASEAN, and was the second fastest in Asia. We look forward to more concerted efforts to spur more robust tourism exchanges between our countries.

Of course, all this progress for both our nations is built on the very pillars of prosperity, namely, peace and stability. We reviewed the security challenges that confront both our nations, and pledged to cooperate in advancing our shared advocacy for members of the international community to act responsibly. We believe this can be done through finding just and peaceful solutions to our territorial disputes and maritime concerns by upholding the rule of law, towards creating a secure and stable environment that serves as the bedrock of our collective progress.

After 59 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines, we see a bond that transcends diplomacy. Through our sustained efforts, may we continue to nurture an alliance, a Strategic Partnership, and, above all, a friendship that draws strength from shared values, common goals, and a mutual respect between equals.
Thank you very much.

GPH Website

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