PH, Japanese foreign secretaries talk about partnership, Mindanao in Davao meeting

By CNN Philippines Staff

The country’s top diplomat met with his Japanese counterpart in Davao City Sunday.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. met with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono who is on his first bilateral official visit to the country.

The two officials held a joint press conference where Locsin said the meeting is “an opportunity for stocktaking and for advancing our cooperation to more mutually-beneficial outcomes.”

Locsin mentioned Japan was the country in the lead when it comes to helping President Rodrigo Duterte “achieve his transformative agenda — in infrastructure, social inclusion, and securing peace and progress in Mindanao.”

The talks focused on achieving peace in Mindanao, Locsin said.

“We emerge from this morning’s meeting freshly confident about prospects for realizing Mindanao’s promise in the wake of positive, indeed striking developments, in bringing Bangsamoro to reality. The inauguration of the Japanese Consulate-General later this evening demonstrates Japan’s enduring commitment to Mindanao, especially with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” he said.

In his remarks at the meeting, Locsin said both countries reaffirmed the strategic partnership, and discussed issues concerning defense, maritime security, infrastructure and human resource development, and health, among others.

“In each case,” Locsin said they were “reaching understandings and making commitments to specific undertakings.”

No details on the commitments and undertakings have been released yet.

“The two of us come from a productive meeting this morning with a single mind — that our two countries must sustain the effort to keep and to grow the gains of our Strategic Partnership. Building on past achievements, and seizing opportunities offered by the future, this partnership will flourish and endure,” Locsin said.

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