Drilon to clarify PH's visa-free status with Japan


Posted at May 05 2014 03:52 PM | Updated as of May 05 2014 11:52 PM

MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon will clarify with Japanese officials the plan to scrap visa requirements for Filipinos visiting Japan.

Drilon said he will be meeting today a delegation from the National Diet of Japan led by Kenji Kosaka, President of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship League (JPPFL) and Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party at the Japanese House of Councilors.

Kosaka and his company will be on a five-day visit and are scheduled to meet President Aquino and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Other members of the Japanese delegation include the Takeshi Maeda, JPPFL Vice President and Member of the Japanese House of Councillors; Yukio Ubukata, JPPFL Chief Secretary and Member of the Japanese House of Representatives; and Taku Otsuka, JPPFL Secretary-General and Member of the Japanese House of Representatives.

Drilon will be joined by Senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino IV, Pia Cayetano, Aquilino Koko Pimentel III and Congressman Romeo Acop. All are members of the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians Association (PJPA).

Drilon, the president of PJPA, will also raise issues regarding Japan’s immigration policies, which have proven difficult for Filipino nurses and other professionals to work there.

"There is a need to review these policies and find creative solutions in order to liberalize the entry of our highly competent nurses and caregivers," said Drilon.

Other matters expected to be discussed at the meeting include the continued strengthening of Philippines-Japan bilateral relations and greater Official Development Assistance (ODA) for infrastructure development projects.

The Japanese officials will also turn over to Drilon their government’s additional donation to the Philippines of previously-used fire trucks and ambulance units, intended primarily for the municipalities badly hit by Yolanda in Central Visayas.