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Sunday, December 10, 2023

PM Kishida’s visit to boost PHL-Japan partnerships

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MALACAÑANG on Tuesday finally confirmed the upcoming official two-day visit of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this week to explore possible new Philippines-Japan partnerships.

Citing information from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Kishida will be in the country on November 3 and 4, 2023.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will hold talks with Kishida at the Malacañang Palace upon the Japanese official’s arrival in the country on Friday.

Among the matters they are expected to discuss are political issues, security, economic and development cooperation, as well as people-to-people ties.

Special joint session

The House of Representatives confirmed on Tuesday that there will be a special joint session on Saturday, November 4, 2023, for the Japanese Prime Minister.

The House announced in a media advisory the special joint session will be held at 10 a.m. at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

Sources said that the Japanese Prime Minister is expected to address the Congress on Saturday.

The 19th Congress is currently on break and was originally scheduled to reopen on November 6.

The Japanese leader and Marcos are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues and reaffirm the excellent relations between the Philippines and Japan, which were elevated into a strategic partnership in 2011.

Marcos undertook his official visit to Japan in February 2023, sealing $13 billion worth of agreements that were seen as yielding thousands of jobs for Filipinos.

Reciprocal access agreement

The Department of National Defense earlier said the country will be pushing for a reciprocal access agreement (RAC) with Japan during Kishida’s visit.

If signed, the RAC will allow the Philippines and Japan to hold shared military training and operations.

The visit comes after Marcos met with the 70-person contingent of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) last week.

JCCI said it now considers the country as a top investment destination due to its booming economy and population.

The President urged Japanese firms to invest in the country’s agriculture sector and climate change adaptation measures.

During his visit to Japan in February, the chief executive was able to secure US$13 billion worth of agreements, which are expected to generate thousands of jobs for Filipino workers.

Image credits: AP/Andrew Harnik

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