Press Releases

The Explosion at Mindanao State University Marawi, in the Philippines
(Statement by Press Secretary KOBAYASHI Maki)

December 4, 2023
  1. On the morning of December 3, an explosion occurred at Mindanao State University Marawi in Marawi City, Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, and caused casualties. In this regard, Japan prays for deceased people and expresses its sincere condolences to the bereaved families. Japan also extends its heartfelt sympathy to those injured.
  2. Attacks against innocent citizens are unacceptable for any reason, and Japan firmly condemns terrorism in all its forms.
  3. Japan will continue to support the peace process in Mindanao under the conviction that stability in Mindanao is linked to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

 On December 3, an explosion occurred during a Catholic mass in the gymnasium of Mindanao State University Marawi in Marawi City, Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines.
 According to local reports, eleven people were killed, and more than 40 others were injured. As of the morning of December 4th (JST), no Japanese residents were reported to have been harmed.

(Reference2)The Mindanao Peace Process
  1. Backgrounds
  • (1) Through peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Framework Agreement was signed in October 2012, and the Comprehensive Agreement was signed in March 2014.
  • (2) Based on the Comprehensive Agreement, the new autonomous government (Bangsamoro) will be established in 2025 through the following transition process: (i) the enactment of the organic law; (ii) the holding a municipal plebiscite; (iii) the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA); and (iv) the election of the Bangsamoro Assembly. Prior to the establishment of the autonomous government, President Marcos lifted the state of national emergency declaration for Mindanao in July 2023.
  1. Japan’s contribution
  • (1) The Government of Japan has been actively contributing to the advancement of the peace process and to the reconstruction and development of the Mindanao region through its efforts including: (i) the dispatch of experts to the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB); (ii)the dispatch of development experts to the Social and Economic Development Section of the International Monitoring Team; (iii) the concentrated implementation of economic cooperation projects such as extending Grassroots Grant Assistance for Human Security in conflict-affected areas (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD)); and (iv) participation in the International Contact Group (ICG) that provides advice by attending peace talks as an observer.
  • (2) In the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement issued during President Marcos’ visit to Japan in February 2023, the Government of Japan expressed its commitment to strengthening, in ways commensurate to the substantive progress of the peace process, its support toward facilitating cooperation such as vocational training for livelihood improvement and industrial development. The Government of Japan also announced the provision of heavy machinery for disaster prevention and recovery equipment for the socio-economic development of the Bangsamoro Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Region during Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to the Philippines in November 2023.

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