The Philippine delegation consisting of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the economic team led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and key private sector representatives departed for a working visit to Tokyo, Japan from February 8 to 12, 2023.
In his departure statement at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Marcos underscored the importance of the bilateral visit to Japan, which he says is part of a larger foreign policy agenda to forge closer political ties, stronger defense and security cooperation, and lasting economic partnerships with major countries in the region.
“The President hopes to bring home agreements in priority areas such as agriculture, renewable energy, digital transformation, infrastructure, and defense and security,” the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement.
Japan is a major bilateral trade partner and is the Philippines’ largest provider of official development assistance (ODA), with committed loans and grants amounting to around $10.2 billion or 31.8 percent of the country’s total ODA portfolio as of December 2021.
Japan is also the first country to sign the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Philippines through the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), which aims to increase trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
“In light of this, President Marcos, Jr. expressed his desire to bring the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan to even greater heights. Therefore, he will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for the possible signing and exchange of key agreements in the areas of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, infrastructure, agriculture, and digital cooperation,” the DoF added.
During the five-day visit, the President will also be meeting with the Filipino community in Japan, engaging in bilateral meetings with Japan’s business leaders, and be granted an audience with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE