THE government has earmarked around P8.8 million for President Benigno Aquino III's less than 24-hour working visit to Japan on Tuesday.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said funding for the visit covers transportation, accommodation, food, equipment and other requirements of the President and his 41-member delegation during the trip.

Aquino left Tuesday morning for Tokyo via a chartered flight accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Andrea Abad and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.

The President met with Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe to discuss areas of cooperation, regional security concerns, developments in the Bangsamoro peace deal, and promotion of trade and investments.

Later in the day, the Chief Executive proceeded to Hiroshima to deliver a keynote address at the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference, an event organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Research and Education for Peace of the Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Seles joined the presidential delegation in the event.

"The meeting between President Aquino and Prime Minister Abe is envisioned to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan in many areas, including maritime cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as well as trade and investments," Ochoa said. "Japan is an important friend and ally of our country."

Before returning home, Aquino will visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (SDR/Sunnex)