Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Working Lunch (Outline)
On Thursday, January 10, from about 9:00 A.M. (local time) for about 85 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Foreign Ministers' Meeting with H.E. Mr. Albert F. del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines. This was followed by an exchange of opinions at a working lunch hosted by Secretary Del Rosario from 11:05 A.M. for about 70 minutes. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
(1) Secretary Del Rosario congratulated Minister Kishida on his inauguration as Minister for Foreign Affairs and expressed gratitude for the support offered by Japan following Typhoon Pablo in December 2012.
(2) In response, Minister Kishida said that it was an honor to visit the Philippines for his first overseas visit, and that the relationship Japan held with the Philippines was an important one given that the two countries shared basic values and many strategic interests. Both ministers shared the view that they would continue to strengthen the "strategic partnership" of the two countries.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) On the topic of bilateral economic relations, the ministers shared the view that it was important to advance cooperation for the expansion of trade and investment through the improvement of business environments, infrastructure development, and the acceptance of candidates of nurses and certified care workers. In particular, concerning infrastructure development, Minister Kishida announced the provision of yen loans to support the expansion of the Light Rail Transit (LRT; approximately 43.3 billion yen) and construction of the New Bohol Airport (approximately 10.8 billion yen).
(2) On bilateral relations related to politics and security, the two ministers shared the view that they would further deepen the "strategic partnership," undertake political dialogue toward the early conduct of a Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, and bolster cooperation for maritime issues. In addition, Secretary Del Rosario expressed appreciation for the active contribution of Japan to peace in Mindanao. In response, Minister Kishida welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement concerning the Mindanao Peace Process. He announced Japan's commitment to make the greatest possible contribution to the final peace agreement, and said that Japan was considering support in the field of capacity building and community development toward the inauguration of the Bangsamoro autonomous political entity.
3. Regional issues
(1) Minister Kishida remarked on the importance of the unity of ASEAN. Both ministers shared the view that they would collaborate closely toward the enhancement of Japan-ASEAN relations.
(2) In addition, on issues in the South China Sea, the ministers shared the recognition that they are matters of interest for the entire international community being directly related to regional peace and stability, and that it is important that all countries concerned uphold international laws related to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They also shared the view that they would continue to cooperate.
(3) Furthermore, both ministers shared the view that they would continue cooperation toward the resolution of North Korean nuclear missile issues, and agreed on the importance of resolving the abduction issue.
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