JAPANESE Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will be in the Philippines on August 10 to discuss security issues amid Manila and Tokyo’s separate maritime disputes with Beijing.
The top Japanese diplomat is scheduled to hold dialogues with President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. until Friday. He is the first senior official from Tokyo to meet the Philippines’ new administration.
An advisory issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said Kishida and Yasay will hold a joint news conference at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on Wednesday afternoon.
A separate statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan said Kishida “will work to strengthen cooperation not only in bilateral relations but also in the regional and international arenas on the way to further enhance the Japan-Philippines stra- tegic partnership.”
“It is important to communicate with the new Philippines government. I would like to firmly confirm friendly ties,” Kishida was quoted as saying.
Among other issues that he is expected to raise with Philippine officials is the historic ruling of an international arbitral tribunal on a case filed by Manila against Beijing.
The award concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within Beijing’s so-called “nine-dash line.”
Japan, one of the Philippines’ staunchest allies, is among the countries that have urged China to respect the decision.
Japan and China are locked in a separate long-running dispute over uninhabited islets, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea.