Press Release
July 31, 2023

SENATE RESO NO. 703 HONORS 67 YEARS OF PHL-JAPAN RELATIONS
"Greater cooperation will lead economic growth, address intl challenges" - SP Zubiri
31 July 2023

Members of the Senate today adopted a resolution recognizing the "enduring bonds of friendship" between the highest legislative bodies of the Philippines and Japan, honoring the 67 years of bilateral relations between the two countries in many areas such as trade and investments, and defense and security, among others.

Senators approved P.S. Resolution No. 703, introduced by all 24 senators led by Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva and Minority Floor Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

"Today, we honor the strong ties that bind our two countries, deeply rooted in mutual respect, regional cooperation and a profound appreciation of our entwined history. Japan is a true friend of the Philippines, and this resolution recognizes that very deep friendship," Zubiri said in a statement.

Japan, the resolution explained, is the Philippines' second-largest trading partner and is among the country's most important bilateral economic partners. In 2022 alone, the gross trade scale of both countries amounted to $23.49 billion or roughly P1.29 trillion.

Resolution No. 703 conveys the appreciation of the Senate to the National Diet of Japan and, in particular, to the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League (JPPFL) under the present leadership of its president, the Honorable Moriyama Hiroshi.

"The Philippine Senate and the National Diet of Japan enjoy robust inter-parliamentary ties, facilitated mainly through our Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians Association and the JPPFL, whose relations have been characterized by frank, substantial and open dialogue, [and] frequent exchanges of visits between Filipino and Japanese lawmakers ...," read the resolution.

"These frequent exchanges with the JPPFL since its establishment in 1986 and their substantial discussions strengthen the deep cooperation between the two countries, which have included parliamentary support to continue funding development assistance to the Philippines ...," it added.

This funding development aid includes support for the Mindanao Peace Process, donations of emergency vehicles and boats to municipalities and Filipino communities heavily damaged by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, and the acceleration and facilitation of the entry of more Filipino nurses and care workers in Japan.

"As a Mindanaoan, I would like to express my thanks for the Japanese Parliament's support for development aid to the Philippines, that has significantly improved the peace situation and the lives and welfare of our countrymen," Zubiri said during his sponsorship of the resolution.

The formal establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan began on July 23, 1956, and the year 2023 marks the 67th Anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Greater cooperation between the Philippines and Japan, the resolution continued, will promote "economic growth, address international challenges, ensure human security, and pave the way to further elevate the Strategic Partnership" between the two countries in the coming years.

The resolution noted that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s visit to Japan in February 2023 and the succeeding official visit of the Senate and the House of Representatives in April of this year have further strengthened the relations between the two countries.

"These interparliamentary exchanges and dialogues contribute, in no small ways, to shaping our bilateral relations and to the formulation of bilateral agreements and treaties between the Philippines and Japan," Zubiri said.

The members of the JPPFL received the resolution in person, as they attended today's plenary session.

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