“The President further expressed his desire to meet PM (Prime Minister) Abe again to discuss developments in bilateral ties and assess ways of moving forward together on shared concerns,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Toshifumi Kitamura/AP/File
Duterte wants to meet Shinzo Abe anew on Philippines-Japan ties
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte wants to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again to discuss further deepening of ties between the Philippines and Japan, Malacañang said yesterday.

At his hour-long meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Davao City over the weekend, Duterte stressed the need for strengthening the two countries’ strategic partnership, especially in addressing transnational crimes and other threats.

“The President further expressed his desire to meet PM (Prime Minister) Abe again to discuss developments in bilateral ties and assess ways of moving forward together on shared concerns,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Kono told Duterte Japan is committed to further deepen and expand cooperation with the Philippines. He also condemned the bombings in Jolo and reiterated Japan’s readiness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

“Foreign Minister Kono likewise conveyed Prime Minister Abe’s grave concern over the twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu and expressed Japan’s condemnation of the terrorism and violent extremism and their commitment to assist the Philippines in combating the scourge of terrorism,” Panelo said.

Kono relayed his country’s readiness to continue supporting development efforts in conflict areas in Mindanao. He also welcomed the successful holding of the Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite and expressed Japan’s commitment to develop the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and to rehabilitate war-torn Marawi.

Japan’s top diplomat also recognized the Philippines’ contribution to the socio-economic development of Japan and conveyed his country’s plan to open up its labor market to qualified Filipinos.

Duterte thanked Kono for visiting the Philippines and lauded the inauguration of Japan’s consulate general in Davao. He said the consulate has “significantly” expanded Japan’s presence in Mindanao.

The President also called Japan a “true friend and proven partner” and praised the East Asian country for its involvement in the Philippines’ ambitious ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program. – With Alexis Romero, Edith Regalado

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS RODRIGO DUTERTE SHINZO ABE
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