Press Release
November 4, 2023

Legarda expresses confidence in deeper cooperation between Philippines and Japan

In light of Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's visit to the country, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda expressed confidence in the deeper cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.

"Today, I am honored to join my colleagues in the Philippine Congress in extending a warm welcome to His Excellency Kishida Fumio, the Prime Minister of Japan, as he graced us with his presence in the Joint Session," Legarda stated.

"Our people-to-people connections and cultural exchanges have laid the foundation for a strong bond between our nations, fostering mutual respect and understanding. We are grateful for Japan's unwavering support and friendship, and we look forward to a brighter and more prosperous future together," she furthered.

During Prime Minister Kishida's speech at the Joint Session of the Congress at the House of Representatives, the Japanese leader said that during his visit to the United States in January, he expressed his determination to defend a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).

He mentioned the four pillars of the FOIP plan. The first is to uphold principles for peace and rules for prosperity. Second is addressing challenges in an Indo-Pacific way, which is "an idea of addressing global challenges in a realistic and practical manner."

The third pillar is to strengthen multilayered connectivity, and the fourth is extending efforts for security and safe use of the sea to the air.

The Prime Minister also underscored the significance of multilayered cooperation among allies and like-minded countries "in order to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law."

On the issue on the West Philippine Sea, he said that a trilateral cooperation between the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S. is underway.

"We highly appreciate Japan's commitment to safeguarding our territorial integrity through collaboration and partnership. We aspire to enhance the training and upskilling of our armed forces by forging closer collaboration with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces," the senator said.

Moreover, the four-term senator recognized Japan as the Philippines' top bilateral official development assistance (ODA) partner. She said she is confident that the Philippine-Japan cooperation will reach new heights and encompass the diversification and advancement of key sectors such as infrastructure development and disaster risk reduction.

"As we look to the future, we recognize the pressing need to address the challenges posed by climate change and the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. We see opportunities for cooperation between our countries in the field of energy transition and accelerate our progress towards a greener and more sustainable future," said Legarda.

Prime Minister Kishida is the first Japanese head of state who spoke at the Philippine Congress.

The Philippines and Japan marked the 67th anniversary of the normalization of their diplomatic relations in July this year. (30)

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