Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

What you need to know as Marcos flies to Japan for the second time in 2023

Dwight de Leon

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What you need to know as Marcos flies to Japan for the second time in 2023

BRIEFING. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. faces the media after the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concludes in California on November 17, 2023.

Presidential Communications Office

(1st UPDATE) President Marcos embarks on a four-day visit to Tokyo to attend a commemorative summit on the 50th year of friendship between ASEAN and Japan. He says the trip presents an opportunity to affirm the Philippine position on international issues.

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is off to Japan for the second time this year, following up on his visit to the land of the rising sun in February.

While the first working visit was mainly to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the latest trip is about Marcos’ participation in the Commemorative Summit on the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.

The regional bloc has established a cooperative relationship with Japan since 1973.

The special website for the commemorative summit says the ties that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) built with Japan is “for peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Asian region.”

The special website for the commemorative summit says the ties that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) built with Japan beginning 1973 – when Marcos Jr.’s father, Ferdinand E. Marcos was Philippine president – is “for peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Asian region.”

“Japan considers that a more integrated ASEAN functioning as a hub of regional cooperation is important for the stability and prosperity of Japan, ASEAN, and all East Asia, therefore, it fully supports ASEAN’s efforts to enhance its connectivity,” a note on the website read.

The official catchphrase for this year’s summit is “Golden Friendship, Golden Opportunities,” which was chosen out of 620 submitted entries. The phrase was coined by Camarines Norte native Marlon Villones Guerrero.

Marcos said the trip is an opportunity for the Philippine government to reiterate its stand on various concerns.

Earlier this week, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu enumerated some regional developments that may be raised during the summit: maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and situation in Myanmar and North Korea.

President Marcos is also set to attend a discussion on decarbonization, as Asian countries work together on achieving carbon neutrality.

“This last ASEAN-related summit for the year presents an opportunity to once again affirm the Philippines’ position on current international issues and advance Philippine interests,” Marcos said in his departure speech on Friday afternoon.

“It is also an opportunity to welcome the conferment of Comprehensive Partner Status to Japan, ASEAN’s trusted and reliable partner in peace, economic development, and community-building for the past 50 years or so,” he added.

Marcos will be in Japan for four days.

The President left Manila for Tokyo on Friday, and is scheduled to return on Monday, December 18.

His schedule includes:

  • Friday, December 15: potential bilateral meeting with Kishida
  • Saturday, December 16: dinner hosted by Kishida at the state guest house of Akasaka Palace
  • Sunday, December 17: main day of the commemorative summit
    • Session seeking to review ASEAN-Japan relations
    • Working lunch, in which the ASEAN, as per Marcos, “will recognize Japan’s commitment and steadfast initiatives in promoting friendship and camaraderie amongst the peoples of ASEAN and Japan to include the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Program”
    • Event titled Co-Creation of Economy and Society of the Future
  • Sunday, December 17: pre-gala commemorative lighting ceremony at Azabudai Hills, followed by gala dinner at the Okura Hotel
  • Monday, December 18: event hosted by the Asia Zero Emissions Community
  • Monday, December 18: press briefing with reporters (2:40 pm)
  • Monday, December 18: audience with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress of Japan Masako at the Imperial Palace (4 pm)
  • Monday, December 18: departure for the Philippines (6:45 pm)
Just like other international trips, the Marcos administration sees this visit as an opportunity to attract foreign investors.

DFA’s Espiritu previously said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will hold bilateral business meetings, and sign new business agreements.

The DTI will also hold a roundtable meeting on Monday to discuss the status of the pledges and agreements signed in February by Marcos during his first visit to Japan as president.

This is the President’s 11th and possibly last international trip for the year, and 17th since taking office in mid-2022. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.