Japan-Philippines Relations

Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting

February 10, 2019

  • Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting1
  • Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting2
  • Japan-Philippines Foreign Ministers' Meeting3
On February 10, commencing at 10:30 a.m. for approximately 45 minutes (local time, 11:30 a.m. Japan time), Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a foreign ministers' meeting with H.E. Teodoro Lopez Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, during his visit to the Philippines to attend the opening ceremony of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1 In opening remarks Minister Kono expressed his firm belief that the opening of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao, which is the hometown of President Duterte and a city that has deep historical connections with Japan, would further strengthen the bonds that are shared between the people of Japan and the Philippines. In response, Secretary Locsin noted that the Philippines sincerely welcomes the opening of Japan's Consulate-General in Davao and that he would work to further strengthen relations with Japan.

2 With regard to the Mindanao peace process, Minister Kono welcomed that following the results of the plebiscite, the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had been ratified. In addition, Minister Kono observed that in advance of the important stage of establishing the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, it is of the utmost importance to ensure the smooth implementation of measures to strengthen administrative capacity, and also to ensure the decommissioning and disarmament of former Moro Islam Liberation Front (MILF) soldiers. He also stated that going forward Japan will strengthen assistance as the peace process progresses. Secretary Locsin expressed appreciation for Japan's long years of cooperation on this matter.

3 Following the meeting, both ministers signed and exchanged notes concerning the Road Network Development Project in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao, which comprises the provision of a loan of up to 202.04 million US dollars to develop a road network that will support the foundation of people's lives in areas in western Mindanao that have for many years been affected by the conflict.
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4 Both ministers welcomed the significant progress that has been made in bilateral security cooperation, including the transfer of defense equipment and technology and the implementation of joint exercises, and agreed to resume the Japan-Philippines Political-Military Dialogue and Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue at an early juncture. Minister Kono noted that the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law is a goal for the entire region and both ministers agreed to continue to engage in cooperation for capacity building in maritime security-related areas, and strongly oppose any attempts that seek to unilaterally change the status quo.

5 Both ministers also confirmed their shared recognition concerning the necessity of realizing the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges by North Korea, and of achieving the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Minister Kono also asked for understanding and cooperation towards the early resolution of the abduction issue and received support from Secreatry Locsin.
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