Japanese PM's visit pulls in ¥1-trillion aid for PH

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to the Philippines on Thursday, with a vow to grant the Duterte administration some ¥1-trillion in aid and investments over the next five years.

Abe disclosed this when he delivered a joint statement with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Palace's Reception Hall in Manila.

“For the further development of the Philippines, we will create business opportunities through ODA (official development assistance) and private sector investments, which together will be of the order of ¥1 trillion over the next five years,” Abe said in a speech.

The ¥1-trillion aid package for the Philippines was on top of the $1.8-billion Duterte had been able to secure from 12 business agreements when he visited Japan in October last year.

Abe also pledged to “leverage Japanese technology and know-how to the fullest extent to positively cooperate for the improvement of infrastructure in Metro Manila and the whole of the Philippines.”

Duterte acknowledged Japan’s effort to help the Philippines and expressed optimism that the economic cooperation between the two countries would beef up.

“As part of those efforts, we are encouraging our business sectors to intensify two-way trade and investments,” the President said.

Other than that, the President revealed that Abe also vowed to work with him in pursuing a “comprehensive approach” in the war against the illegal drugs trade.

Duterte said Japan had committed to supporting his administration by helping in rehabilitating the drug personalities who have been submitting themselves to the authorities.

“As the Philippines pursues its campaign to destroy illegal drugs trade apparatus, we welcome the expressed interest of Japan to support measures to address the tremendous social cause of drug addiction, this includes rehabilitation,” the chief executive said.

On countering narcotics trade, Abe said the Japanese government would tap the private sector for the improvement of drug facilities and treatment programs in the Philippines.

“We want to work together with the Philippines to think of relevant measures of support. For our part, Japan will tap among others, knowledge of the private sector to assist in the improvement of related facilities, formulation of treatment programs and in other areas,” he said. (Sunnex)
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