Japan making ready for Marcos state visit, says VP Sara Duterte

The Japanese government led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is preparing for a state visit of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The Japanese government is preparing for a state visit by Marcos, according to Vice President Sara Duterte. (PHOTOS: Marcos - AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson; Kishida - REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool)

According to Vice President Sara Duterte, the Japanese government is preparing for a state visit by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Discussion of the preparations of Japan sa pagbisita ng ating Pangulong Marcos dun sa kanila (on the visit of our President Marcos there), I understand they are working on a state visit for President Marcos in Japan,” she said on Thursday (September 29).

This comes after the vice president’s visit to Shinzo Abe’s state funeral as a special envoy of the country. Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, died of blood loss after getting shot twice by an assailant.

Duterte also met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. as well as the officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Her meeting with MEXT officials was “to exchange views on blended learning, and values and skill formation, STEM education, and COVID response,” according to the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

Duterte’s visit to Japan lasted for two days.

The vice president also thanked Japan for supporting former president Rodrigo Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Infrastructure Program (BBB), wherein only 12 out of 119 projects were completed by the end of his term. Coincidentally, according to the program’s former chair Anna Mae Lamentillo, Japan funded 12 of its projects.

“We talked about there, first and foremost, our gratitude to Japan for all their help [to] the Philippines, particularly for their support in recent years in the Build Build program of our government,” she added.

Last month, Marcos made his first state visits to Indonesia and Singapore before attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The Japanese prime minister told the Philippine president on the sidelines of the UNGA that he wants to strengthen cooperation between the two nations in priority areas, such as agriculture, energy, health and infrastructure, according to a Japanese spokesperson.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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