State Visit to Japan by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines (Outline and Evaluation)

December 2002

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines, and Attorney Arroyo, paid a State Visit to Japan from 2 to 5 December. An outline and evaluation of the visit is as follows.

1. Outline

(1) Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting
At their Summit Meeting on December 4, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Arroyo confirmed the establishment of a relationship as "partnership for acting together toward peace and stability" and exchanged opinions on a wide range of issues such as Japan-Philippines economic partnership, support for Mindanao, Philippines investment environment and terrorism and piracy countermeasures. Furthermore, following the meeting, the two leaders announced the "Joint Statement on the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership" and "Support Package for Peace and Stability in Mindanao."

(2) Signing Ceremony for Economic Cooperation Projects
Following the Summit Meeting, with the participation of the two leaders, a signing ceremony for the exchanges of notes was held with Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Kojiro Takano and Ambassador of the Philippines to Japan Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. regarding the following two economic cooperation projects:

(A) Special yen loan program, "Metro Manila Fire Prevention Enhancement Project" (approximately 5.2 billion yen)

(B) Sector Program Grant Aid (approximately 1.5 billion yen)

(3) Speech at the Diet
On December 3, President Arroyo delivered a speech entitled "Freedom and Mutual Interdependence" before a joint session of the Japanese Diet at the House of Councillors. She is the second President of the Philippines to deliver a speech at the Diet, the first having been then President Carlos P. Garcia, who visited Japan in 1958. This was the first speech delivered at the Diet by a female Head of State.

(4) President Arroyo made a State Call on Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and attended a State Dinner, had informal talks with the Japan-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship League, and with Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Takeo Hiranuma. President Arroyo also attended an IT investment seminar and met with economic groups. These vigorous meetings with leading figures in the political and financial sectors in Japan deepened the friendly relations between Japan and the Philippines.

2. Evaluation

(1) This State Visit was the third visit to Japan by President Arroyo since she assumed office and the fourth Summit Meeting. Based on the specific advancements in cooperation to date, it is significant that an agreement has been reached between the two leaders to establish a "partnership for acting together toward peace and stability" to further develop the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

(2) Regarding Japan-Philippines economic partnership, a working group met twice before the visit by President Arroyo. It is significant that on the occasion of this visit, an agreement was reached at the Summit level to accelerate tasks to make the expeditions commencement of the next stage, which will provide greater momentum for the realization of economic partnership.

(3) Regarding support for Mindanao, Prime Minister Koizumi indicated his recognition of the importance of peace and development in Mindanao for the stability of the region as a whole and announced a support package for Mindanao to assist the Arroyo Administration, which is advancing both its fight against terrorism and its fight against poverty at the same time. President Arroyo highly appreciated this package, which received wide coverage by the media in the Philippines.

(4) Prime Minister Koizumi, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and many other members of the House of Representatives and House of Councillors attended and listened to the speech at the Diet by President Arroyo, who expressed her deep appreciation for the opportunity to deliver this speech.

Back to Index