JAPAN’S leader has reiterated his country’s commitment to stronger bilateral cooperation with the Philippines during a courtesy call by Philippine Vice President Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio, who attended the state funeral of late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 27.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, during his talk with the vice president, vowed to facilitate the improvement of agricultural and fisheries value chains and the collection of small arms and light weapons in Mindanao, the southern part of the Philippines, according to a statement released by the Japanese Embassy in Manila.
Japan earlier signed an agreement to provide a $5-million (P284 million) grant for the enforcement of decommissioning and normalization aspects of the peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The embassy said Japan also plans to provide educational support for junior government officers from the Philippines, which would give them an opportunity to study in Japan.
Ms. Duterte, who comes from Davao in Mindanao, a city with strong historical ties with Japan, thanked the Japanese government for its contributions to Philippine development.
“In addition, both sides exchanged views on the situation in the East and South China Seas and economic coercion, among others, and affirmed to work closely on these issues,” the embassy said.
Ms. Duterte was the first Cabinet-level dignitary of the Marcos administration to visit Japan. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan