MANILA — In an upcoming diplomatic assembly this Friday at Malacañan Palace, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is set to convene with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as per a Tuesday announcement by Malacañang.
Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil, referencing a confirmation from the Department of Foreign Affairs, delineated Prime Minister Kishida’s official sojourn to Philippine shores scheduled for Nov. 3 to 4.
Garafil’s statement articulated that President Marcos will officiate the welcoming ceremony for Kishida at Malacañan. The leaders’ discourse will traverse a multitude of subjects, including political dynamics, security measures, economic collaboration, developmental initiatives, and fostering people-to-people connections.
Garafil further elaborated, “The diplomatic tête-à-tête will provide a platform for both leaders to deliberate on pressing regional and global matters. Additionally, they will reiterate the robust ties binding the Philippines and Japan, a relationship that ascended to a Strategic Partnership status in 2011.”
Earlier in February, Tokyo played host to a similar meeting between Marcos and Kishida. This rendezvous culminated in the ratification of the Terms of Reference on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief activities, involving the Japan Self-Defense Forces operating in the Philippines.
During that Tokyo visit, President Marcos was also accorded audiences with the Japanese imperial couple, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, alongside interactions with eminent business magnates and investors. This diplomatic venture yielded investment commitments approximating USD13 billion, with a prospective employment surge of around 24,000 positions for the Philippine workforce.
Prime Minister Kishida, during the February assembly, extended a generous pledge of 600 billion yen (equivalent to USD4.6 billion) in official developmental assistance and private-sector ventures. This financial influx aims to bolster the Philippine economic blueprint, targeting an upper middle-income status by 2025.
At the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, hosted in Manila on Oct. 26, Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa vouched for Japan’s unwavering commitment to monumental Philippine projects. Notably, Japanese fiscal contributions have predominantly been channeled towards pivotal infrastructure initiatives such as the North-South Commuter Railway, Metro Manila Subway Project, and the LRT extensions, among others.
Historical trade data from 2021 positions Japan as a principal player in the Philippine economic arena, ranking as the nation’s second-largest trade ally, third-largest export destination, and a significant import source. Furthermore, Japan stands out as the Philippines’ preeminent bilateral benefactor for active official development assistance, financing myriad sectors from infrastructure to education.