Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Koshikawa Kazuhiko, has highlighted the “flourishing” partnership between the countries since President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assumed office last year.
In his remarks during a celebration of the 69th anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) at his residence on July 7, Koshikawa took note of the “many milestones” between the two countries.
In particular, he highlighted the signing of the “Terms of Reference on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief activities of the JSDF in the Philippines” during Marcos’ official visit to Japan in February. He said the document “will broaden existing opportunities to strengthen future Japan-Philippines defense cooperation.”
Koshikawa said stronger cooperation between “like-minded nations” through events such as the recent 2023 G7 Summit in Hiroshima will “preserve stability and peace in the world.”
He reiterated Japan’s commitments to regional peace and stability towards achieving a “free and open Indo-Pacific” through maritime partnerships such as the first joint trilateral exercise between the Philippines, Japan and the United States.
The ambassador added that the first-ever Japan-Australia-Philippines-US Defense Ministerial meeting is a “welcome development towards maintaining peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea.”
The overall bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan, he said, are “very close.” He also welcomed the visit of Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri with Prime Minister Kishida, the convening of the second Japan-Philippines “2+2” meeting, and the future conclusion of a Japan-Philippines Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA).
Aside from defense, Koshikawa, said the two countries have a very close relationship in diplomacy, economy and culture. He noted that Japan has delivered all its promised projects to the Philippines.