Japan Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu to make 1st official visit to PH

Sofia Tomacruz

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Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu is scheduled to visit the Philippines from January 8 to 9

OFFICIAL VISIT. Japan Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu is scheduled to make his first official visit to the Philippines in January 2020. Photo by Alastair Pike/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu is set to make his first official visit to the Philippines from January 8 to 9, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday night, January 2.

Motegi will meet President Rodrigo Duterte and hold a bilateral meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

The meeting with Locsin on Thursday, January 9, will cover discussions on cooperation between the Philippines and Japan in areas of politics, infrastructure and economy, defense, maritime security, and support for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The DFA also said the Locsin and Motegi were also xpected to “exchange views on developments in the regional security landscape.”

Motegi’s upcoming official visit is his first since assuming the post as Japan’s foreign minister last September 2019. The visit is part of a 4-country Southeast Asian tour that includes stops in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The DFA said Motegi’s visit signals the further strengthening of ties between the Philippines and Japan “under which both countries continue to elevate and deepen their decades-long economic cooperation, together with their engagement on strategic security issues.” (READ: FAST FACTS: PH-Japan relations through good and bad times)

Latest figures from the National Economic and Development Authority showed Japan was among the Philippines’ top sources of official development assistance (ODA) as of March 2019, with 46% of total ODA coming from the East Asian country.

Locsin has long highlighted Japan’s aid to the Philippines as “unconditional generosity” and “help that has no agenda but friendship, decency, and a deep and abiding regard, as much for the safety and wellbeing of neighbors, as for oneself.” – 

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers defense and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz.