Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On Thursday, June 28, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting with H.E. Albert F. Del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, who was visiting Japan upon invitation by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, from 6:30 pm for approximately 60 minutes, and subsequently hosted a dinner meeting for approximately 90 minutes. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
(1) Minister Gemba welcomed Minister Del Rosario's visit to Japan, appreciated the steady progress of the follow-up work from the Japan visit by H.E. Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, last September, and stated that he would like to construct relations appropriate for the "strategic partnership" through close coordination with Minister Del Rosario.
(2) In response, Minister Del Rosario stated that because Japan is a friendly model partner of the Philippines sharing common values, issues, and aspirations, he would like to strengthen bilateral relations based on those.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Economy and economic cooperation
(A) Minister Gemba stated that for the revitalization of Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake, it would be crucial to take in the vitality of Asian nations, including the Philippines, and expressed his expectations for further expansion of trade and investment between Japan and the Philippines. Moreover, Minister Gemba stated that it would be important to strengthen bilateral efforts for smooth implementation and operation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). With regard to the dispatch and acceptance of candidates for nurses and care workers, Minister Gemba stated that he would like to cooperate bilaterally for smooth implementation. In addition, Minister Gemba expressed his determination to support the improvement of the investment environment and the preparation of the infrastructure of the Philippines through active utilization of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to contribute to the economic development of the Philippines, and, at the same time, requested further efforts from the Philippines for the improvement of the investment environment.
(B) In response, Minister Del Rosario expressed his gratitude that the ODA from Japan was in line with the development plan of the Philippines and has greatly contributed to the economic growth of the Philippines, and explained the improvement of the investment environment. Moreover, Minister Del Rosario stated that the Government of the Philippines would enforce its efforts for a smooth implementation and smooth operation of the EPA, appreciated the efforts of the Government of Japan in the acceptance of candidates for nurses and care workers, and stated that he would like to cooperate with Japan in the future as well.
(2) Human exchanges
(A) Minister Gemba pointed out the importance of human exchanges such as youth exchanges and mutual sightseeing promotions. At the same time, Minister Gemba introduced a successful visit to Japan by 400 high school and college students from the Philippines as "Philippines-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors" as a result of an invitation from Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, the Prime Minister of Japan, on the occasion of President Aquino's visit to Japan last September, and expressed his intention to invite a total of 285 high school and college students from the Philippines by March 2013 as part of the "Kizuna (bond) Project" for the enhancement of an understanding of Japan's reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
(B) In response, Minister Del Rosario stated that the promotion of human exchanges, especially those for youths, who will forge the future of the two countries, will contribute to the stable development of bilateral relations, and expressed his gratitude for the invitation of many youths by the Government of Japan, such as that for the 400 youth as "Philippines-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors".
(A) With regard to cooperation in the field of maritime security, both foreign ministers confirmed that this is an important follow-up topic of President Aquino's Japan visit last September, and shared views on cooperation concerning support for the improvement of the Coast Guard of the Philippines and to hold the Second Japan-Philippines Consultations on Maritime Cooperation early.
(B) With regard to the Mindanao Peace Process, Minister Gemba stated that peace in Mindanao is important for the peace and stability of the region, and supported the efforts by the Aquino administration while expressing that the Government of Japan will continue to fully support the Peace Process. In response, Minister Del Rosario expressed his deep gratitude for Japan's proactive support of the Mindanao Peace Process, explained the current situation of peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and expressed President Aquino's determination to realize peace within this year.
3. Regional situations
(1) Both foreign ministers shared views as "strategic partners" on mutual coordination through various frameworks in the region. Particularly, both foreign ministers shared views on the importance of developing the East Asia Summit into a forum for leaders' initiatives where shared visions and basic rules for the region are confirmed to bring specific cooperation.
(2) Moreover, both foreign ministers shared views on the recognition that the issue surrounding the South China Sea is a concern for the entire international community, as the issue is directly related to the peace and stability of the region, and it is important to solve the issue peacefully through diplomatic measures.
(* The foregoing is a provisional translation the date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
Back to Index