Japan-Philippines Relations

December 14, 2020

On December 14, Mr. SUGA Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit telephone talk with His Excellency Rodrigo R. Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, for about 20 minutes from 5:55 p.m. The overview of the talk is as follows:

  1.   At the outset, Prime Minister Suga expressed his gratitude to President Duterte for the heartwarming message of congratulations on his appointment as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Suga conveyed his message of sympathies for the extensive damages afflicted by the two typhoons that hit the Philippines in November.
  2.  Based on the fact that the two nations have assisted each other amid the crisis of the COVID-19, both leaders affirmed the commitment to cooperating with each other on the prevention of further spread of COVID-19. President Duterte once again expressed his appreciation for Japan's cooperation programmes, including the assistance for COVID-19 control measures.
  3.  Prime Minister Suga communicated his wish to further flourish the bilateral Strategic Partnership and to carry on the close coordination toward promoting a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” In addition, Prime Minister Suga reiterated the Government of Japan's position to support President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” programme as well as to galvanize the assistance to the Mindanao peace process in ways commensurate with its progress. Furthermore, Prime Minister Suga asked for understanding and cooperation on the early resolution of the abductions issue by North Korea. Both leaders exchanged views on regional affairs, such as the issues around the South China Sea, and concurred on continuing to work together closely.
  4.  Prime Minister Suga, conveying the establishment of the Consulate-General of Japan in Cebu due January in Year 2021 when two countries commemorate the 65th anniversary of the normalization of the relations, expressed his hope that the event will further strengthen the existing bilateral relations. Pointing out that Year 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the bilateral Strategic Partnership as well, President Duterte conveyed his wish to work closely with Prime Minister Suga on the further strengthening of the bilateral relations, including through regional cooperation.

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