Philippines hopes for 'golden age' with Japan under new emperor: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2019 03:48 PM

MANILA -- Malacañang said Monday it was looking forward to a "golden age" in Philippine-Japan ties under incoming Emperor Naruhito, who will be enthroned later this week.

Under President Rodrigo Duerte, Japan is the Philippines "friend, closer even than a brother," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"We hope to build the 'golden age' for Philippines-Japan strategic partnership during the reign of the new Emperor," he said.

Crown Prince Naruhito will take over from his 85-year-old father Akihito, the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in 200 years. Panelo said the Palace was "melancholic" about Akihito stepping down, likening the leader to a "good friend."

"We remain confident that the assumption of Crown Prince Naruhito would augur well for Philippines-Japan relations," he added.

The Palace official also hailed Tokyo's $9-billion investment and aid package for the Philippines as "the largest amount the Japanese government has committed for a single country."

Duterte first met outgoing Japanese Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko in 2017.