Foreign Minister Hayashi Meets with Finance Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines
On April 25, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, met with Hon. Carlos G. Dominguez, Secretary of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines, during his visit to Japan for about 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. The overview of the talk is as follows:
- At the outset, Minister Hayashi expressed gratitude for Secretary Dominguez’ contribution as the Philippine Co-chair of the Japan–Philippines High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation. Minister Hayashi stated his intention to strengthen cooperation with the Philippines as Strategic Partners toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” based on the recognition that free and open international order based on the rule of law is essential amid numerous challenges such as unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.
- The two ministers welcomed the finalization and publication of the Subic Bay Regional Development Master Plan, which is conducive to the enhancement of connectivity and coast guard capabilities. Minister Hayashi expressed his resolve to continue close coordination in the realms of infrastructure development, including the Philippine Coast Guard’s new facility in Subic Bay, response to COVID-19, and socioeconomic assistance for Mindanao.
- In response, Secretary Dominguez expressed his deep appreciation for Japan’s expeditious fulfillment of the development master plan, which contributes to economic development of the Subic Bay area, Japan’s support to the “Build, Build, Build” large-scale infrastructure development programme of the Duterte administration by way of fast and sure assistance through public and private finances, as well as Japan’s assistance in terms of Philippines’ response to COVID-19. Secretary Dominguez also touched on the recent liberalization of restrictions on foreign investment to the Philippines, and expressed his hope toward further broadening avenues of cooperation with Japan.
- The two ministers discussed cooperation in the field of economic security, and concurred on strengthening cooperation in response to issues of safety and reliability of critical infrastructure as well as economic coercion.
- The two ministers also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine. Minister Hayashi pointed out that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine constitutes an outright violation of international law and jeopardizes the foundation of international order that encompasses Asia. In response, Secretary Dominguez expressed grave concern about the situation in Ukraine, stated that the Philippines have voted in favour of relevant resolutions and expressed condemnation at the United Nations General Assembly, and conveyed his wish to coordinate with Japan in light of impacts such as price increase in the Philippines.
[Reference 1] Technical Assistance for the Formulation of a Subic Bay Regional Development Master Plan
The technical assistance to formulate a regional development master plan for Subic Bay commenced, following the Japan–Philippines Summit Meeting in November 2019, when then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo conveyed Japan’s intention to render assistance. The master plan outlines possible projects in Subic Bay and surrounding areas in the fields of road network development, logistics terminal development, Philippine Coast Guard’s new facility development, and other public utilities development.