Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Tokyo last week and agreed to continue working closely together to further strengthen the partnership between the Philippines and Japan.
In a statement, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo said that in addition to bilateral relations, the two officials also discussed regional concerns, including developments in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.
Ambassador to Tokyo Jose C. Laurel V said the breakfast meeting was held before the 5th Meeting of the Philippines-Japan Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation on June 20, 2018, where Cayetano participated as one of the leaders of the Philippine Delegation.
“At the onset of the meeting, Secretary Cayetano conveyed his sympathies to Foreign Minister Kono on the earthquake that hit Kansai region on 18 June and, assured the latter of the readiness of the Philippines to assist, same as Japan being consistently ready to help the Philippines during calamities,” Ambassador Laurel said.
In their discussions, Ambassador Laurel said Secretary Cayetano and Minister Kono noted the dynamic and collaborative partnership between the Philippines and Japan in the areas of social security, infrastructure development, defense, and security as well as in counter-terrorism.
Ambassador Laurel said both Ministers also exchanged views on important regional matters such as the Asean and the South China Sea.
Ambassador Laurel said the two also expressed their optimism on the recently held summit between United States President Donald Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore and agreed to continue to cooperate in establishing a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.
The envoy said Foreign Minister Kono also expressed appreciation for the expeditious signing last month of the Memorandum of Cooperation on the collection of the remains of Japanese soldiers who were killed in the Philippines during the Second World War.
The meeting between Secretary Cayetano and Minister Kono came a week after the holding of the 4th Philippines-Japan Vice Ministerial Strategic Dialogue – an annual bilateral consultative mechanism between the two countries.