TOKYO – President Benigno Aquino III is now in Japan for his summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Aquino arrived 11:04 a.m. Tokyo time.
From Haneda Airport he went straight to the old PM residence where Abe received him.
Aquino and Abe are now having a closed door meeting which will be followed by an expanded working luncheon. Both are expected to address the media afterwards.
During the summit meeting, the 2 leaders exchanged pleasantries.
Abe said, "Welcome back to Japan. It is a great pleasure for me to see you again following our last meeting back in December. This is our fourth summit meeting in the last 12 months and through our frequent communication, I understand that we have great progress in terms of development of the bilateral relationship, which is quite meaningful. Both Japan and the Philippines share universal values and between us there is a strategic partnership. So with you, Mr. President, I certainly would like to develop our relationship."
Aquino III responded, "It is a pleasure to be back in Tokyo, Mr. Prime Minister. Of course, we are witnesses to the revitalization of the Japanese foreign impact to the Philippines. I think we are expecting to revitalize the economy… evident in the number of transport trucks that we were seeing in the road as we went… And again, we welcome this opportunity to revitalize the strategic partnership between our two countries. "
Both countries have maritime disputes with China.
Apart from being one of the Philippines’ top trading partners and donors, Japan also hosted talks between Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim that paved the way for peace negotiations that culminated with the signing of the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro.