The foreign affairs minister of Japan will be visiting the country next week to discuss political and economic cooperation, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Minister Motegi Toshimitsu’s official visit on January 8 and 9 will include a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte and a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr.
Among the topics Motegi and Locsin will be discussing are political dialogues, economic and infrastructure cooperation, defense and maritime security, as well as regional security. Japan is also expected to express its support for the transition to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
It is the first visit of Motegi to the Philippines after he was appointed foreign minister in September. His visit to the country is part of a four-country tour that includes Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The DFA said “the visit constitutes a further affirmation of the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, under which both countries continue to elevate and deepen their decades-long economic cooperation, together with their engagement on strategic security issues.”
For years, Japan has remained the Philippines’ biggest source of official development assistance. Earlier this year, Japan announced that it will lend the Philippines $202 million to build roads in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
Locsin has said that the Philippines has gotten more assistance from Japan than China.