PH, Japan to boost maritime safety


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday vowed to ensure maritime safety in the region, with Japan agreeing to help the Philippines acquire new vessels.

    TIES RENEWED Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) approaches President Rodrigo Duterte (left) following their joint news conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Wednesday. Duterte arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday for an official visit. AFP/AP POOL PHOTO BY EUGENE HOSHIKO

    TIES RENEWED Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) approaches President Rodrigo Duterte (left) following their joint news conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Wednesday. Duterte arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday for an official visit. AFP/AP POOL PHOTO BY EUGENE HOSHIKO

    In a joint statement released in Tokyo, the Philippines and Japan said “maintaining open and stable seas is essential in the region,” and stressed the importance of a “rules-based approach to the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes without resorting to the threat or use of force.”

    Duterte is on an official visit to Japan, which saw the Philippines getting Japanese commitment to help it boost maritime security.

    “The two leaders emphasized the need to ensure maritime safety and security which are vital elements for the peace, stability and continued prosperity of both countries and of the region,” the joint statement said.

    Japan will provide official development assistance to allow the Philippines to acquire large-scale patrol vessels, while the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will transfer training aircraft TC-90s.

    Japan plans to provide high-speed boats and other equipment “to enhance the Philippines’ anti-terrorism capabilities,” the joint statement said.

    The two countries also agreed to help keep South China Sea open to navigation and overflight and to settle regional maritime disputes within the ambit of international law.

    The statement cited the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Charter and other international agreements amid Beijing’s refusal to recognize an international arbitration ruling favoring the Philippines over China in the South China Sea dispute.

    “The two leaders emphasized the importance of self-restraint and non-militarization,” the joint statement said, in apparent reference to China’s reclamation activities in the Kalayaan (Spratly) islands declared illegal by the July arbitration ruling.

    Japan has a separate maritime dispute with China, and Duterte on Wednesday told an audience of Japanese businessmen that he did not enter into a military alliance with Beijing when he visited China last week.

    “I went to China for a visit and I would like to assure you that what all there was was economics. We did not talk about arms, we did not talk about stationing of troops … we avoided talking about alliances, military or otherwise,” Duterte told Japanese businessmen.

    Stronger economic ties

    At the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo, Duterte wooed Japanese investors as he vowed to strengthen economic ties between the Philippines and Japan.

    Duterte said his administration would boost infrastructure and rural development and spur the growth of small and medium enterprises.

    “I wish to underscore that stronger economic ties with Japan has been and will continue to be a priority for the Philippines as we celebrate the 60th year of our bilateral relations,” the President told Japanese businessmen at the forum.

    “We look to Japan as a steady fulcrum in our regional engagements as the Philippines’ first and only bilateral free-trade partner to date,” he added, referring to the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement inked by Manila and Tokyo in 2006.

    “We count on Japan to further extend its valuable support in our pursuits for promoting rural development, increasing agriculture productivity, accelerating infrastructure spending and investing in human capital development,” Duterte said.

    The President told Japanese investors that his government was working to provide “an environment conducive for business.”

    “We are putting in place policies aimed at ensuring stability in the macroeconomic policies, increasing competitiveness, improving ease of doing business, increasing spending in crucial infrastructure and investing further in the human capital development,” he added.

    Duterte cited the need to decentralize growth through agriculture development, particularly in the rural areas. He cited Mindanao, which produces the country’s top agricultural exports such as bananas, pineapples, coconut and tuna.

    “In this light, we appreciate Japan’s role in the peace-building efforts in Mindanao that is geared towards attainment of a more peaceful life for our country and the ending of vicious cycle of poverty and conflict,” he said.


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    1. How about the atrocities that the Japanese had done to the Filipinos during world war II? How about the Chinese controlling the economy and politics in the Philippines? In this era don’t you think China and Japan will continue to make the Philippines their underdog? Are China and Japan eyeing for their ulterior motive to exploit the natural and human resources of the Philippines? What is he leverage of the Filipino leaders in the art of dealing with these countries of different culture? Can someone enlighten these?

    2. Yonkers, New York
      27 October 2016

      If President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are really serious about promoting and defending a RULES BASED ARCHITECTURE in both the East China Sea and the South China Sea, both of them should declare that they are in favor of helping to enforce that July 12, 2016 unanimous ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines and against China in their dispute over maritime structures in the West Philippine Sea which the Philippines asserts are parts of its territory under International Law [UNCLOS], but which China grabbed illegally. The PCA moreover ruled that China’s arbitrary “NINE-DASH LINE” is without legal basis.


    3. Pres. Duterte mentioned he will go to Russia to form China, Philippines and Russia group. He announced it will be the three of us against the world. Every time he opened his mouth he is antagonizing western Europe and America. When will he start taping his mouth?

    4. Such talk of maritime security, and ours being violated, lets sing it to Paul Simon’s Scarborough Fair Lyrics


      Are you going to reclaim Scarborough Shoal?
      Sadly Panatag’s off limits this time
      Remember when we fished over there
      t’was exclusive territory of mine

      Tell Digong that he should assert
      Panatag’s our says UNCLOS law maritime
      So China cease your artificial earthwork
      Stop your dredging of our entire coastline
      Please dismantle your artificial island

      Panatag’s ours says UNCLOS law maritime
      Between the salt water and the sea strand
      The Spartlies are RP’s true boarderline

      Tell China to trust that its all for better
      That Panatag’s stay ours by UNCLOS law maritime
      May all of ASEAN agree together
      To recognize and respect this true sea boarder line

      Are you going to reclaim Scarborough Shoal?
      Sadly Panatag’s off limits this time
      Remember when we fished over there
      t’was exclusive territory of mine

    5. William Palermo on

      The Red Sun (Japan) Meets the Yellow Sun ( Pilipinas), For the Record during Spanish-Philippine War “History” The Japanese supply us with Rifles develop to fight the Spaniards. Purely Japan is our Ally , Even Chinese are also our Great Ally they help us to build local Churches and Fight invaders (Espanol). Asians should unite as One. GOD Help Us.

      • For history’s sake, we must tell what really happened, the Japanese did promise arms or rather raise money to buy arms to support the Filipino freedom fighters, the problem is the arms never arrived because the ship sank, “they said.” Whether it was intended to ever really send weapons is questionable. Why do I say so?

        Because in the battle of Manila bay were not only US warships, but British, German, French and…Japanese warships, for a single purpose. They were all waiting like vultures to snatch a piece of the Philippines Islands, a crumbling Spanish colony ripe for the taking.

        If we had any illusions of benevolence about the Japanese true motives, these clarified during WW-II when they invaded.

        Of course Japanese then are different Japanese now, I would like to think.

      • China would have also joined the fray to snatch up a piece of the P.I. If the empire had not been so defenseless itself. The Empress Dowager spent the military budget on palace beautification, so today there is a lovely garden there derisively called the “Empress’ Navy.”