MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. headed to Japan on Wednesday for a visit where he is expected to seek stronger security and economic ties with Tokyo.
"My bilateral visit to Japan is essential," Marcos said in his departure statement.
"It is part of a larger foreign policy agenda to forge closer political ties, stronger defense and security cooperation, as well as lasting economic partnerships with major counties in the region amid a challenging global environment," he continued.
Manila and Tokyo are expected to sign 7 key agreements on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, infrastructure, agriculture, and digital transformation during Marcos' 3-day visit.
The deals were the product of Philippine and Japanese officials' meetings in New York and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November, Marcos said.
He is also expected to meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and hold an audience with Emperor Naruhito.
"I look forward to bringing home more of these agreements that will be of benefit to the transformation of our economy and to be able to mitigate some of the challenges that we are faxing in a new global economy," he said.
Marcos' trip is expected to yield P150 billion in investment pledges, said Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano.
The official delegation included the following.
-Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
-Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri
-House Speaker Martin Romualdez
-Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo
-Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno
-Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual
-Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla
-Tourism Secretary Cristina Frasco
-Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr.
-Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil
-Other Cabinet officials, undersecretaries
A "large business delegation" of at least 150 representatives from the private sector will also join Marcos in his meetings with business leaders, the foreign affairs department added.