Countries & Regions
Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting
On July 27, during his official visit to the Republic of the Philippines, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, at Malacanang Palace for approximately 65 minutes from 10:20 a.m. (local time). An overview of the meeting is as follows.
President Aquino welcomed Prime Minister Abe's visit, along with offering his congratulations on the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s victory in the Japan's House of Councillors election. In response, Prime Minster Abe said he was pleased to be able to make an official visit to the Philippines after an interval of six and a half years. The two leaders shared the view that they will work closely on further strengthening the "strategic partnership" for the prosperity of both countries.
With regard to bilateral relations, Prime Minister Abe stated "four initiatives" in diplomacy with the Philippines: (i) the nurturing of vibrant economies together; (ii) the promotion of cooperation in maritime affairs; (iii) the strengthening of the assistance for the Mindanao Peace Process; and (iv) promotion of people-to-people exchanges. The two leaders shared the view that they will advance bilateral relations toward more constructive and mutually-beneficial outcomes, based on those initiatives.
(1) In order to nurture vibrant economies, which is the first initiative, the two leaders shared the view that they will cooperate on transportation and traffic infrastructure in major metropolitan areas, particularly in light of the "Transport Roadmap Study for Metro Manila and its Surrounding Areas" that was created with Japan's assistance. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe expressed expectation that the Philippines will adopt the Japanese digital terrestrial television broadcasting system, and he also stated that Japan will contribute 10 billion yen as a newly-established "standby yen loan credit for disaster recovery". President Aquino expressed his gratitude. In addition, the two leaders welcomed progress on cooperation in the financial sector, including the opening of discussions aimed at enhancing bilateral currency swap arrangements.
(2) The leaders confirmed the importance of Japan-Philippines Dialogue on Maritime and Oceanic Affairs for promoting cooperation in maritime affairs, which is the second initiative, and for jointly protecting free and open seas. They also shared the view that they will move ahead with various kinds of exchanges and practical cooperation, beginning with joint exercises between defense authorities and coast guard agencies. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe said that based on a request from the Philippines, Japan will provide 10 patrol vessels through a yen loan in order to enhance the capacity of the Philippine Coast Guard, and President Aquino expressed his gratitude.
(3) Regarding the Mindanao Peace Process, which is the third initiative, Prime Minister Abe once again highly praised the "Framework Agreement" of October last year, along with expressing Japan's intention to strengthen support in three areas in response to the promotion of future peace: (i) community development assistance, (ii) assistance for human resources development in the transition process; and (iii) economic development assistance toward sustainable development. President Aquino responded by expressing gratitude for Japan's support. In connection with this, at a joint press announcement held after the Summit Meeting, Prime Minister Abe presented President Aquino with an accurate, leading-edge map of Mindanao's topography that was created to support the future economic development of the region.
(4) Regarding people-to-people exchanges, which is the fourth initiative, Prime Minister Abe said that in addition to inviting large numbers of young people from the Philippines under the JENESYS 2.0 project and the easing of visa requirements from July 1 in order to promote tourism, he hopes to expand bilateral aviation relations, including increasing regular flights between Japan and the Philippines. The two leaders shared the view that people-to-people exchanges, which are the foundation of bilateral exchanges, will move further forward.
(1) The two leaders shared the view that they will work together toward the Japan-ASEAN Special Summit Meeting to be held in December this year, in order to accomplish a further strengthening of Japan-ASEAN relations on the occasion of the 40th Year of Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation. They also exchanged views on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
(2) The South China Sea issue was also raised, and Prime Minister Abe indicated that this problem is a matter that concerns the regional and international communities, and said all nations concerned should respect relevant international laws, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and should clarify the grounds for their own claims in line with international law, including abstaining from unilateral actions.
(3) Regarding North Korea, Prime Minister Abe said it is necessary to continue to convey the message that the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea will absolutely not be tolerated, and that North Korea should sincerely and completely implement a series of UN Security Council resolutions on the matter. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe stated that the abduction issue is an important problem that concerns Japan's sovereignty and the lives and security of its citizens, and that he is determined to fully resolve it during the current administration. He asked for the Philippines' continued cooperation on the matter.
(4) Prime Minister Abe described the status of discussions and deliberations in Japan concerning constitutional amendment, the establishment of the National Security Council (NSC) and the right of collective self-defense. Specifically, with regard to constitutional amendment, Prime Minister Abe explained that the government is deepening debate on the Constitution that would accommodate the current situation of Japan, while taking "pacifism", "the sovereignty of the people" and "fundamental human rights" as given. Regarding the right of collective self-defense, Prime Minister Abe explained that consideration of the matter will be made from the standpoint of ensuring Japan's security and contributing to the Japan-U.S. alliance and the peace and stability of the region, reflecting the changes in the overall security environment in the international community.