NONTHABURI, Thailand—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed his gratitude to Japan for its assistance in the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which paves the way for lasting peace in the region.
In his remarks during his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the President recognized Japan’s generosity for funding the Road Network Development Project, which links the BARMM to Mindanao’s other trade centers and supports the region’s overall development.
Japan has been one of the staunch supporters of the Mindanao peace process and vowed to continue supporting the political transition and capacity-building of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
It also made commitment to the implementation of disarmament of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, as well as the grant of socioeconomic development assistance to the Bangsamoro people.
In addition, the President thanked Japan for assisting the Philippines in developing its infrastructure and enhancing its defense capability.
“I would like to give our heartfelt thanks for the Manila subway. It’s the first in the country and you are the only country who proposed to give it to us,” he said.
“I would like to again thank you for the air assets, the five TC-90s, UH-1H, we received from your government,” he told Abe with regards to Japan’s military assistance.
“We would hope to sustain this cooperation as my government looks for the acquisition of such aircraft and radar.”
The President also expressed his gratitude to Japan for “granting prior consent” for the plan to open a Philippine Consulate General in Nagoya.