Japan-Philippines Relations

November 13, 2017
Prime Minister shaking hands with the President of the Philippines Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
On November 13, commencing at 8:45 p.m. (local time) for approximately 35 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting the Republic of the Philippines to attend the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-related Summit Meetings, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Rodrigo R. Duterte, President of the  Republic of the Philippines. The overview of the meeting is as follows. 

(1) Bilateral relations
At the beginning, President Duterte repeatedly stated that he cannot thank Japan enough for its wholehearted support as a long-standing and true friend, along with explaining that he is happy that exchanges of notes on the Metro Manila Subway Project, Marawi City reconstruction, public security and counterterrorism and other projects had reached the signing stage, and expressing appreciation for Japan’s support once again.

In response, Prime Minister Abe stated that the frank exchange of views that took place in Tokyo when President Duterte visited Japan last month was extremely impressive. Prime Minister Abe expressed gratitude for the President’s hospitality, such as inviting Ms. Beverly Caimen, the Filipina singer who performed at the banquet in honor of President Duterte held in Tokyo, to Manila this time and having her appear as the first performer at the gala dinner held on the previous evening, and including soup made with miso on the menu. The meeting was held in a relaxed atmosphere throughout.

In addition, Prime Minister Abe welcomed the signing of exchanges of notes on the Metro Manila Subway Project, Marawi City reconstruction, public security and counterterrorism, and other projects, while stating that the provision of TC-90 Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft based on a letter of agreement signed between the two countries’ defense authorities is a major step in terms of moving defense cooperation forward. In addition, Prime Minister Abe requested President Duterte’s assistance for promptly recommencing a project to collect the remains of Japanese soldiers, and President Duterte replied that he intends to proceed with this project while carefully consulting with the relevant agencies as it requires coordination with them.

(2) Regional affairs
The two leaders exchanged views on regional affairs, including North Korea and the South China Sea. With regard to North Korea in particular, President Duterte explained that the Philippines consistently supports Japan. Prime Minister Abe replied that he hopes to issue a powerful message in the form of a Chair’s Statement at these ASEAN-related Summit Meetings also, and requested cooperation.

Signing of exchanges of notes
After the meeting ended, the signing of the following five exchanges of notes took place in the presence of the two leaders. 
  1. Exchange of notes on a yen loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project (Phase 1) (loan provision of up to 104.53 billion yen)
  2. Exchange of notes on a yen loan for the Arterial Road Bypass Project (Phase III) (loan provision of up to 9.399 billion yen)
  3. Exchange of notes on grant aid for the Economic and Social Development Programme (support for the reconstruction of Marawi City / provision of coastal monitoring radar equipment) (grant amount of 2.5 billion yen)
  4. Loan agreement on a yen loan for the Cavite Industrial Area Flood Risk Management Project
  5. Letter of agreement between defense authorities on the transfer of TC-90 Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft

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