PNoy to thank Japan, ASEAN countries for typhoon relief

Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2013 - 10:30am

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III flew to Tokyo on Thursday morning for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan Commemorative Summit, where he is set to meet with foreign leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In his pre-departure speech, Aquino said his trip will also be an opportunity for the Philippines to thank Japan and ASEAN nations for helping in the relief and rehabilitation efforts for victims of SUper Typhoon "Yolanda."

"Tunay nga po, na sa panahon ng taimtim nating pangangailangan, ipinaramdam nila: Hindi tayo nag-iisa," Aquino said.

The President said even before Yolanda hit the country, personnel of the ASEAN Centre for Humanitarian Assistance were already pre-positioned for disaster relief response.

Japan, on the other hand, sent aircrafts, ships, medical teams and members of self-defense forces aside from relief donations worth millions of dollars, Aquino said.'

"Kaya naman lulubusin natin ang pagkakataong makapanayam si Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upang magpasalamat sa kanyang mga kababayan," the President said.

Aquino said he will also meet with Filipinos in Japan to assure them that the government is doing its best to speed up the rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas.

From December 12 to 15, participating heads of states are expected to discuss issues surrounding Japan and its relations with the 10-member regional bloc.

"Tatalakayin din natin ang pagpapalakas ng ating ugnayan para sa pangmatagalang kapayapaan, kaayusan at kaunlaran sa rehiyon," Aquino said.

The President had said Japan's and the Philippines' territorial disputes with China could be among the issues to discussed.

"Everybody should be focused on maintaining a stable region so that we have the necessary milieu for expanding economies to the benefit of all our peoples," he said.

Read: PNoy open to talks, defense treaty with Japan amid China row

AQUINO ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS FROM DECEMBER HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE JAPAN JAPAN COMMEMORATIVE SUMMIT JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE YOLANDA
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