• Manila, Tokyo end ‘fruitful’ talks

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    The Philippines and Japan successfully concluded the third Vice Ministerial Strategic Dialogue (VMSD) early this March at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City (Metro Manila).

    Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo, head of the Philippine delegation, met with Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba and the delegation from Japan.

    The two sides had a “fruitful and constructive” discussion on matters of mutual interest, with particular emphasis on this year’s chairmanship of Asean by the Philippines and Japan’s support for proposed joint commemorative activities in celebration of Asean’s 50th anniversary.

    They discussed progress on their economic cooperation after the successful visits of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan in October 2016 and of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Philippines in January 2017.

    The two parties also talked about regional developments, including peace and stability, and developments in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

    They also exchanged views on US policy toward the Asia-Pacific region.

    The Philippines and Japan continue to enjoy a Strengthened Strategic Partnership since the agreement on September 2011 was upgraded in June 2015.

    The fourth VMSD will be hosted by Japan in Tokyo. JAIME R. PILAPIL

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