In phone discussions held today, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu agreed to step up mutual support during the ongoing pandemic and to foster with regional partners a unified approach to the post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’.
Foreign Minister Motegi conveyed Japan’s appreciation for the help provided by the Philippine government to its efforts to bring home Japanese nationals from the country. He also extended assurances of Japan’s readiness to assist both the Philippines and the larger ASEAN region in recovering from impacts of COVID-19, and building public health and economic resilience against future such emergencies. Minister Motegi also pledged undiminished support for infrastructure and other development projects with the Philippines that have been in the pipeline before the outbreak.
Secretary Locsin, for his part, thanked Japan for its facilitation of the Philippine government’s repatriation operations, particularly the large-scale return of Filipinos aboard the MV Diamond Princess and the Costa Atlantica.
The two Ministers recognized the critical role of closer and coordinated regional efforts, including under the ASEAN-Japan and ASEAN Plus Three frameworks, in enabling the region to respond and weather future pandemics.
Secretary Locsin and Minister Motegi agreed on the importance of regional players prioritizing cooperation amid the crisis, and avoiding actions that raise regional tensions and breach of international law, as countries endeavor to overcome the pandemic and revitalize their economies. DFA.GOV.PH