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Gist of remarks at Japan-Philippines summit and joint news conference, Oct. 26

Following is the gist of remarks at the Japan-Philippines summit meeting:


South China Sea


President Rodrigo Duterte: We would like to find a peaceful solution under the rule of law based on international law. We will have to talk about this issue sooner or later but for now, I can only speak on the basis of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling. Japan and the Philippines are in exactly the same situation. We intend to stand by Japan at all times, so don’t worry.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: This is a matter of great interest to the international community that will directly affect regional peace and stability. We would like to strengthen cooperation with the concerned nations, including the Philippines, to seek a peaceful solution through diplomatic efforts.


North Korea


Abe: The threat posed by its development of nuclear arms and missiles has entered a new stage. In order to change North Korea’s behavior, we need to send out a strong message that all forms of provocation will not be tolerated by passing a UN Security Council resolution and taking other steps. We demand that North Korea take concrete action to resolve the abduction issue at an early date.


Duterte: I am committed to condemning North Korea’s continuing nuclear tests. The international community must unite and put pressure on North Korea to return to the Six Party Talks.


Economic ties


Duterte: Japan has always been our no. 1 trading partner. It has consistently assisted the Philippines’ economic development. We would like to remain a long-term partner.


Abe: We would like to develop concrete assistance plans, including a program for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, before the end of this year.


Following is the gist of remarks at the joint news conference:


Security cooperation


Abe: Like Japan, the Philippines is a maritime nation. We will strengthen assistance to improve its maritime security capabilities. I am happy about the decision to provide large patrol boats and that an agreement has been signed on the relocation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s TC-90 training aircraft.


Duterte: Japan will play an important role in the modernization of the Philippines’ maritime defense capabilities.


Assistance for infrastructure construction


Abe: We will provide strong support for the construction of infrastructure both in Metro Manila and in the regions.


Duterte: We hope for more vigorous trade and investment. High-quality infrastructure is essential for the Philippines’ economic development. The Japanese government’s official development assistance (ODA) is incomparable. It has had a tremendous positive impact on the lives of Filipinos. It will also be a way to promote structural reform.


China-Philippines relations


Abe: We welcome your visit to China and your efforts to improve and develop Philippines-China relations.

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