The Senate adopted a resolution congratulating former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for being Japan’s longest serving prime minister.
Senate Resolution No. 525 also commended Abe’s contributions to strengthen Philippine and Japanese relations.
“Prime Minister Abe’s tenure as prime minister of Japan is also historic and significant because of his commitment to maintain a close relationship with the Philippines which has brought our relations to where it is now – reinvigorated, strong, friendly and cooperative,” Senator Koko Pimentel said in a plenary session on Tuesday, November 10.
Abe is the only Japanese prime minister who has dealt with 3 Philippine presidents, namely former presidents Gloria Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III, and President Rodrigo Duterte.
‘Golden age’ of Philippine-Japan relations
During Abe’s term, ties between the Philippines and Japan grew stronger.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Japan supported the pandemic response efforts of the Philippines.
The country donated $3.16 million in emergency assistance to the Philippines through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Red Cross. Japan also granted a ￥50 billion emergency response loan.
The Philippines was one of the 42 countries invited by Japan to participate in the clinical trials of the Japanese antiviral drug Avigan.
During Duterte’s visit to Japan in 2017, Abe pledged ￥1 trillion in aid and investments through Japan’s Official Development Assistance for the Philippines.
The Japanese government relaxed single-entry and multiple-entry visa requirements for Filipinos.
Abe’s government offered to be a partner in peace-building efforts in the Philippines, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and was involved in the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the International Contact Group (ICG) and the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP). Japan has also been supportive of the rehabilitation efforts of Marawi City.
Japan developed the Philippines’ defense capability with the transfer of patrol vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard, high-speed boats, surveillance radars, and the TC-90 maritime patrol aircraft.
Abe resigned on August 28, citing health problems. The former prime minister stepped down on September 16. The new Japaneses prime minister is Yoshihide Suga. – Rappler.com