Philippines: President Benigno Aquino to meet Japan’s Abe

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  1. Nihonjin1051
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    Manila: President Benigno Aquino III is slated to visit Japan on Tuesday and meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss deepening ties and forge further partnerships in the regional and local level.

    According to Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, the meeting between the two leaders “is an opportunity for them to exchange views on several issues to develop stronger ties between their countries.”

    “These areas of cooperation include humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime cooperation, promotion of trade and investments, people-to-people exchanges and the Mindanao peace process,” Jose said.

    The one-day meeting between the two leaders comes at a time when their countries are embroiled in concerns involving China.


    China, in recent months had been perceived to be moving to secure several islands in Southeast Asia and North Asia in an apparent effort to extend its territorial reach by establishing outposts in these areas. These movements had been a source of tension in the region between the Beijing-based government and countries such as the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam.

    Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, said in Aquino would likely take up the issue in his discussions with Abe.

    Jose for his part, said: “Japan is one of our only two strategic partners. And in terms of economic cooperation, Japan is our number one trading partner, largest source of ODA [official development assistance], third largest source of approved investments, and third largest source of tourists.”

    Mindanao Peace

    Aside from meeting Abe, part of Aquino’s agenda in Japan was to deliver the keynote address at the 6th edition of the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference which will be held in Hiroshima and was organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Research and Education for Peace of the University Sains Malaysia.

    According to Jose, Aquino’s presence in the Hiroshima event is crucial because it serves as a follow-up to government actions on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which aims to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

    Aquino’s presence in Hiroshima had been regarded as an important opportunity for the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leaders and other stakeholders to discuss challenges in the search for peace in Mindanao.

    The government last March had signed a peace agreement with the MILF, ending more than two decades of hostilities.

    Japan, which has a number of companies in Mindanao, had played a key role in the peace process in Southern Philippines for a number of years.


    Philippines: President Benigno Aquino to meet Japan’s Abe | GulfNews.com
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  2. Pinoy
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    Aquino: Beneficial if Japan can defend allies under attack
    June 24, 2014
    [​IMG]

    Philippines' President Benigno Aquino III, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a joint news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. AP/Yuya Shino, Pool
    MANILA, Philippines — Amid the "increasingly severe" regional situation, President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday supported Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to expand Japan's military role.

    In a joint press statement with Abe following their summit meeting and expanded working luncheon in Tokyo, Aquino expressed his support for Abe's proposal to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution to allow its military to defend not only Japan but also allies that come under attack.

    "We are told of ambiguities as regards the bounds of Japan's ability to respond even in the midst of an attack on its allies. In this regard, there have been some debates on the Japanese government's plan to revisit certain interpretations of its Constitution," Aquino said in his televised speech.

    "We believe that nations of goodwill can only benefit if the Japanese government is empowered to assist others and is allowed the wherewithal to come to the aid of those in need, especially in the area of collective self-defense," he added.

    Abe's ruling party is in the midst of tough negotiations with its coalition partner over his proposal to reinterpret the Japanese constitution to allow what is known as collective self-defense. The Japanese military can currently only use force to defend Japan.

    Aquino said the he does not view Abe's push with alarm since this could bring the Philippines and Japan closer to their shared goal of regional peace, stability and prosperity.

    The Japanese leader said he and Aquino discussed the right of collective self defense along with approaches to peace and the transfer of defense equipment.

    "In the face of the regional situation becoming increasingly severe, both nations are closely coordinating," Abe said.

    Aquino's and Abe's remarks come as both of their nations face China's military expansion in the disputed East and South China seas.

    Both countries on Tuesday strengthened their security cooperation to build a peaceful and more stable Asia-Pacific region.

    "Prime Minister Abe and I likewise shared the view that prosperity and development cannot exist in a vacuum; that the advancement of our peoples and our region can only be fully realized in a context that fosters stability," Aquino said.

    "Japan is a strategic partner of the Philippines; it is thus incumbent upon us to have continuous dialogue as we jointly face the changing dynamics of our regional security environment," he added. - AP


    Aquino: Beneficial if Japan can defend allies under attack | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star

    Philippines :cheers: Japan
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  3. Nihonjin1051
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    Wonderful to hear the speech of President Aquino III ! See, the Philippines is an example of how two nations who were once at war with each other some 70 years ago -- are now capable of putting differences aside and working with each other. I hope there will always be continued positive relations between Japan and Philippines.
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