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Japan–Phl Foreign Ministers’ Meeting strengthens cooperation and mutual interests in the region

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On May 16, commencing at 1:10 p.m., Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, met with Hon. Enrique A. Manalo, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, for approximately 35 minutes during the latter’s visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows:

At the outset, Minister Hayashi welcomed Secretary Manalo’s visit to Japan following the last visit in February, and expressed his sympathies on the passing of former Foreign Secretary Del Rosario, who was known for having advocated the rule of law in the South China Sea. In response, Secretary Manalo acknowledged the sympathies and went on to express gratitude for Japan’s rapid assistance in response to the oil spill disaster off the coast of Mindoro Island earlier in the year.

Minister Hayashi referred to the outcomes of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Karuizawa, Nagano, as well as Japan’s philosophy toward the prospective G7 Hiroshima Summit, and explained the new plan for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).” In response, Secretary Manalo expressed his appreciation for Japan’s efforts during the year of its G7 Presidency to incorporate the perspective of the Indo-Pacific and areas of concern for non-G7 countries in its preparation for the G7 Hiroshima Summit. The two ministers went on to exchange views on matters of mutual interest in the region and the international community, and affirmed to work together closely on such issues as the situation in the East and South China Seas, economic coercion, the situation in Ukraine, and dealing with North Korea, including on the nuclear and missile issues, and the abductions issue.

Moreover, the two ministers, acknowledging the successful visit of President Marcos this February, concurred on steady implementation of cooperation projects, bilaterally, trilaterally with the United States, and multilaterally, in line with the “Japan–Philippines Joint Statement.” In particular, on security cooperation, Secretary Manalo stated that the Philippines welcomed the steady progress on the defense equipment transfer project. Moreover, on economic cooperation, Minister Hayashi reiterated Japan’s intention to actively support the Philippines’ attainment of Upper Middle Income status. In response, Secretary Manalo expressed deep appreciation for the assistance from Japan for the Philippine economic development, and the two ministers concurred on continued cooperation.

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