President Marcos in Tokyo for summit

Helen Flores, Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
President Marcos in Tokyo for summit
President Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos are welcomed by Japanese officials at the Haneda International Airport at 7:13 p.m. yesterday. The President and other govern-ment officials are in Japan to attend the 50th Commemorative Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation Summit.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will continue to take a lead role in promoting economic partnerships between Japan and member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), President Marcos said yesterday before leaving for Tokyo for the three-day summit commemorating 50 years of friendship and cooperation between the Asian power and the regional bloc.

Marcos, in his departure speech delivered at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, noted the Philippines is the permanent country coordinator for ASEAN-Japan Economic Relations.

“The Philippines will always continue to shepherd ASEAN initiatives and projects with Japan not only to co-create a region of economic prosperity, but also an inclusive society that is ready for the future,” Marcos said.

The President will attend the summit from Dec. 16 to 18 upon invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. This is Marcos’ second visit to Japan this year.

Marcos and his delegation arrived at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo at 6:13 (Philippine time) last night. They were welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Albano.

Marcos’ first official engagement will be a dinner hosted by Kishida at the Akasaka Palace State Guest House tonight.

The opening of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit and Marcos’ bilateral meeting with Kishida will take place tomorrow. 

According to Marcos, the summit will feature three sessions, each with a particular focus within the ASEAN-Japan framework.

The first session will tackle Japan’s contribution to ASEAN’s community-building efforts, as well as the country’s consistent support for ASEAN centrality and the rules-based international order.

The second session will feature “heart to heart” partnership across generations.

The last part of the summit will be on Co-Creation of Economy and Society of the Future, where the Philippine economic team led by Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual will participate.

“I will highlight that the ASEAN-Japan relationship has inexorably evolved and progressed over the past five decades, particularly in shared commitment towards peace and security, trade and investment, food security, climate action, energy security, supply chain resilience, infrastructure development and now, connectivity,” Marcos said.

Following the ASEAN-Japan Summit will be the Asia Zero Emission Community or AZEC Leaders Meeting, where Marcos will apprise the partner countries of current Philippine initiatives toward clean energy.  

He said he would invite AZEC partners, including Japan, to invest in renewable energy in the country to achieve not only the intention of the AZEC, but also the overall goal of the Paris Agreement.

Marcos said he would use the last ASEAN-related summit for the year to “once again affirm the Philippines’ position on current international issues and advance Philippine interests.”

Vice President Sara Duterte will be the country’s caretaker while Marcos is in Japan, according to Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil.

The Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership among Japan and ASEAN member-states or AJCEP was concluded in November 2007 in Manila.

The AJCEP enabled businesses from ASEAN and Japan to gain access to a big and potential regional market of 752.4 million people and to benefit from tariff concessions and cumulative rules of origin, all of which would provide consumers with greater choice of products with competitive prices.

ASEAN is a regional bloc composed of the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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