The Enactment of the Law for the Mindanao Peace Process
(Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono)
July 26, 2018
1. Japan heartily welcomes the enactment of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao regarding the Mindanao peace process in the Republic of the Philippines through the signature of H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, on July 26, 2018.
2. The enactment of this law is an important step toward the establishment of the new autonomous government (Bangsamoro) in Mindanao. Japan sincerely commends the efforts of the Government of the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and all others concerned.
3. Japan strongly hopes that the transition process toward the inauguration of Bangsamoro will be steadily implemented, including ratification of the organic law and establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
4. Japan has been supporting the peace process for many years under the conviction that peace in Mindanao will contribute to regional peace and stability. As declared in the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the Next Five Years announced in October 2017, Japan will enhance its support for the development of Mindanao in a wide range of fields, in accordance with progress in the peace process.
[Reference] The Mindanao Peace Process
(1) Through peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF, the Framework Agreement was signed in October 2012, and the Comprehensive Agreement was signed in March 2014.
(2) Based on the final peace agreement, the new autonomous government (Bangsamoro) will be established through the following transition process: (i) the enactment of the organic law; (ii) the ratification of the organic law; (iii) the establishment of the BTA; and (iv) the election of the Bangsamoro Assembly.
(3) The Government of Japan has been contributing to the advancement of the peace process and to the reconstruction and development of the Mindanao region through efforts that include: (i) the dispatch of development experts to the Social and Economic Development Section of the International Monitoring Team; (ii) the concentrated implementation of economic cooperation projects such as extending Grassroots Grant Assistance for Human Security in former conflict-affected areas (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)); and (iii) participation in the International Contact Group (ICG) that provides advice by attending peace talks as an observer.
(4) In addition, the Government of Japan expressed that, from a mid-to-long term perspective, it will match its support with the progress made in the process for the establishment of a new autonomous government in Bangsamoro by enhancing its assistance for development in Mindanao, which Japan has been implementing under J-BIRD in a wide range of areas, in the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the Next Five Years (date) (PDF) announced on the occasion of the visit to Japan of President Duterte in October 2017.