BEIJING — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday confirmed that he would be flying to Japan next month to meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Discussions are expected to “center around economic security,” Marcos said during a press briefing on the sidelines of his state visit to China.
“When I met Prime Minister Kishida in New York and he invited me to Japan, I immediately accepted,” he said, referring to his first face-to-face meeting with the Japanese leader during a United Nations event last year.
“The tentative date would be the second week of February,” he said.
Marcos said he expects to have a “continued discussion of what [they] started in New York which centers around economic security.”
“The Japanese have many concerns in regional security and the Philippines is seen as an important part in maintaining that security,” he said.
“When we generally talk about aids, grants… the subject of security also came up. The 2 things are interconnected as conceived by the Japanese Prime Minister,” he said.
Marcos declined to give more details about possible talking points between him and Kishida, saying that the fine print has yet to be settled.
“They were in private discussions so we have not formulated a complete position,” he said.
Japan has been a key ally of the Philippines for decades, with the East Asian country consistently being among the top sources of aid for Manila.
In 2019, grants from Tokyo to Manila were pegged at 303.1 billion yen while loans were at 3.11 trillion yen, according to data from Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs.
Japan’s direct investments in the Philippines amounted to P24.5 billion in 2021 alone, data showed.