Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday assured Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko that the Philippines will continue its strategic economic partnership with Japan.
“It’s really great that Japan remains and has been one of the country’s foremost trade, investment and development partner for a very long time.
Through strategic policy reforms, we will improve the business climate in the Philippines to attract more direct investments from Japan,” Romualdez said.
Koshikawa paid a courtesy call on Romualdez at the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon. With the Japanese envoy were Kuronuma Kenji, senior representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Akihiko Hitomi, first secretary; and Yukari Koike, political officer.
Romualdez and Koshikawa discussed the long-standing bilateral and inter-parliamentary relations between the Philippines and Japan, and vowed to further expand the two countries’ cooperation.
In 2021, the Philippines’ total trade with Japan amounted to $21.83 billion, up by 17.1 percent from the 2020 figure of $18.65 billion, making Japan the second largest trading partner of the Philippines as of last year.
Exports and imports were valued at $10.73 billion and $18.65 billion, respectively. Compared to 2020 levels, exports increased by seven percent, while imports went up by 28.9 percent.
Romualdez also thanked the Japanese government through JICA for the “immediate response in providing humanitarian assistance” to the Philippines following the recent earthquake in Northern Luzon.
“We deeply appreciate the aid provided and acknowledge the strong cooperation with Japan on humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” he said.
The Speaker also extended his condolences on the passing of former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last July 8.
Earlier, the House of representatives adopted Resolution No. 121 principally introduced by Romualdez, Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan, and senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos. The document extended Congress’ condolences to former Prime Minister Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and the people of Japan.