Duterte: Japan ‘unrivaled’ as Philippines’s valued partner

Pia Lee-Brago, Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Duterte: Japan âunrivaledâ as Philippinesâs valued partner
President Rodrigo Duterte is joined by Senate President Tito Sotto and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco at Congress during his last State of the Nation Address on July 26, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has described as “extraordinary” the Philippines’ ties with Japan and has expressed optimism that the relationship between the two countries would become stronger.

In his message for the 65th anniversary of the normalization of Philippines-Japan bilateral relationship, Duterte reiterated that Tokyo is “a friend closer than a brother.”

“Japan is unrivaled in its status as one of the Philippines’ most valued partners. Since 1956, Philippines-Japan ties have been marked with one triumph after another,” Duterte said.

“In celebrating the 65th anniversary of our diplomatic ties, let us honor the legacy of the extraordinary relationship between our country and Japan,” he added.

Duterte said only a handful of the Philippines’ bilateral ties have been as “deeply transformative” as the one with Japan.

“Our mutual decision to move forward while continuing to be aware of our shared meaningful history has truly been a gift of timeless value to our peoples,” the President said.

“I am confident that the Japan-Philippines strategic partnership will continue to strengthen as our people-to-people linkages continue to deepen,” he added.

Duterte predicted that the shared future of the two countries remains “bright and the horizon continues to ever expand.”

“There are many promises that can still be fulfilled,” he said.

Duterte also wished Japan luck in its hosting of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games during the pandemic. He said the events have become “an enduring symbol of humanity’s unbowed spirit.”

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, for his part, conveyed yesterday his appreciation for the strong bond between Japan and the Philippines.

Suga remarked that the bond between the two countries has never been stronger, and highlighted their successful collaborations throughout the years.

He paid special attention to the role Japan has played in supporting the Philippines in its development efforts as the two nations continue to work closely together in battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

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