December 14, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte accepted on Monday the credentials of new Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko.
In accepting Koshikawa's credentials in Malacanang, the Chief Executive cited the close relationship of the Philippines and Japan.
"As a friend that is closer than a brother, Japan occupies a singular and special place in our foreign relations. Japan is a strategic partner and one of our most important partners in trade, investments and development cooperation," he said.
"Over the years we have fostered vibrant ad fruitful ties, forward looking yet ever mindful of the lessons of our shared, meaningful history," the President said.
He also thanked Japan for the assistance to Philippines' COVID-19 response and for supporting its development agenda through the years including the "Build, Build, Build Program."
Duterte also expressed gratitude to Japan’s development assistance to Mindanao.
"Next year, we will mark the 65th year of the normalization of our ties and the 10th year of our strengthened partnership. Let us celebrate our collective gains even if we recommit our shared aspirations for greater peace, progress, and prosperity for our countries and the region," he added.
For his part, Koshikawa vowed to exert efforts to increase trade and investment between the two countries and further promote the strategic partnership and cooperation on various issues, such as infrastructure and development, agriculture, natural disaster risk reduction, medical health sector, Mindanao peace process, and peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.
Duterte also welcomed Apostolic Nuncio-Designate of the Holy See Charles John Brown in Malacanang.
He said he looks forward to working closely with the Holy See to further advance the shared advocacies of migrants' protection and climate action.
"For the Philippines, these are issues which are a matter of uplifting human dignity and securing the lives of the most disadvantaged. There are estimated 10 million Filipinos overseas with close to 3,500 in the Vatican City. The Holy See’s call for all countries to protect the dignity of human life including of migrants regardless of the status is much appreciated," Duterte said.
He said the Philippines welcomes Pope Francis’ declaration of a global climate emergency and the need for a collective response anchored on the principles of equity and social justice.
He also expressed appreciation over the Pope's expression of solidarity and prayers for the Filipino people who were effected by recent Typhoon "Ulysses."
He also cited the 70th celebration of "warm and close diplomatic ties and 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines" next year. Celerina Monte/DMS
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