BBM vows stronger Phl, Japan ties

Incoming Philippine president Bongbong Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday both concurred to intensify the Japan-Philippines relations to achieve “regional peace and prosperity.”,“The partnership of Japan and the Philippines has been one of mutual benefit to our two countries and I hope not only to continue but to increase all of our engagements in every aspect of our relations,” Marcos said in a statement after receiving a phone call with the Japanese leader.,In a release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, it stated that Kishida called Marcos at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, 20 May, to deliver his warm congratulatory message to the newly elected Philippine leader.,“Prime Minister Kishida expressed his resolve to continue cooperation on the economic front such as infrastructure development including railways and Subic Bay development, as well as in the security and coast guard law enforcement fields, through the High-Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation and the Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”), among others,” it read.,“The two leaders also exchanged views on regional affairs. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his wish for future close coordination with President-elect Marcos for the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” it further stated.,During the 15-minute phone conversation, Marcos assured the Japanese leader that the country’s relations with Japan are of “utmost importance” and that he intends to “deepen” his “cooperation” with him.,Both Kishida and Marcos looked forward to meeting personally “as early as possible” to discuss how the two Asian countries can bolster their relations as they push forward.,This is the second time that Kishida congratulated Marcos for his apparent victory in the 2022 presidential elections.,Earlier, Fumio, in a letter coursed through Japan’s Embassy in Manila, congratulated Marcos and expressed his determination to further promote cooperation between the two countries as strategic partners.,Marcos, who has been leading the presidential race by 16 million votes, received pouring greetings from different world leaders, including United States president Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.