MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippine government has confirmed that President Benigno S. Aquino III will embark on a four-day state visit to Japan from June 2 to 5 next week to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Minda Calaguian Cruz said he two leaders are expected to talk about the enhancement of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, as well as exchange views on recent developments in the region.
“The visit is taking place in an auspicious time when we are to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries, and we will look at this visit as a very important visit,” she said.
Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will receive President Aquino at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo for the welcome ceremony and a state call, Cruz said, adding that the Emperor and his wife will also host a state banquet in honor of the Philippine leader.
During this particular trip, President Aquino will for the first time deliver a speech at the National Diet, Tokyo’s bicameral legislature.
Cruz said this is a significant event because the Diet is considered as Japan’s highest state organ.
“Speaking at the National Diet is a very good platform by which the President can also put forward what have been the developments in the Philippines over a period of time, and at the same time also, the linkages between both countries,” she said.
President Aquino will meet with members of the Japanese business community to highlight the recent economic gains of the Philippines and invite them to take advantage of more investment opportunities in the country.
He is also scheduled to speak at the special session of Nikkei’s Future of Asia Conference 2015. A meeting with the Filipino community, considered a staple event in his foreign trips, will be part of his official itinerary.
The upcoming trip to Japan will be President Aquino’s fifth, as he had previously been to Tokyo on official and working visits, but it will be his first in terms of a state visit at the invitation of the Japanese government. – BusinessNewsAsia.com