MANILA, Philippines – Japan on Saturday, September 3, expressed solidarity with the Philippines following the bombing incident in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Japanese government said it will “continue to closely cooperate with the Philippines in tackling terrorism.”
In his message to Duterte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said,
“I cannot help feeling indignation to learn that a bombing incident by terrorism caused numerous casualties in Davao City where Your Excellency served as the mayor for many years.”
“Such terrorist attacks will never be allowed whatever the reason is. I firmly condemn it. On behalf of the Government and people of Japan, I would like to pray for the deceased, and express my heartfelt sympathy to the injured and their families,” he added.
Police said 14 people were killed and more than 60 others injured in the attack at the Davao City night market on Friday night, September 2. Some of the victims remain in critical condition.
“Japan stands with the Philippines when Your Excellency and people of the Philippines are overcoming this difficulty in solidarity,” said Abe, who is expected to have a bilateral meeting with Duterte on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related Summits in Vientiane, Laos, next week.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida also sent a message to his Philippine counterpart, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr, over the Davao bombing.
“I am deeply shocked to learn that a bombing incident caused numerous casualties in Davao City. I firmly condemn this terrorist act in the strongest terms,” Kishida said.
“I would like to pray for the deceased, and express my heartfelt sympathy to the injured and their families,” he added.
The United States and Australia have also condemned the attack and expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.
Police confirmed on Saturday night that the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device. It has yet to validate the claim of the Abu Sayyaf that it was responsible for the attack. (For updates on the Davao blast, check Rappler’s live blog) – Rappler.com