Thursday, June 4, 2015
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines at Akasaka Palace State Guest House.
First, both leaders took part in the summit meeting, which was followed by the signing ceremony, exchange of documents, and joint press announcement.
Later, the Prime Minister hosted a banquet, and said the following during his address,
“I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to President Aquino and his associates upon their visit to Japan. This State Guest House is the same one that President Aquino’s mother, former President Maria Corazon Aquino, visited as a state guest in 1986. I am very pleased to have the honor of welcoming the current President Aquino to this same location as a state guest.
President Aquino was kind enough to extend a very warm welcome and world-famous Filipino hospitality to me during my visit to the Philippines two years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your kindness.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the top political and business leaders and cultural representatives invited to the banquet tonight for their continued efforts and dedication to strengthening the relationship of friendship and cooperation between our two nations.
I was tremendously impressed with President Aquino’s address to the Diet yesterday. This evening, many of my fellow representatives are in attendance and I am certain that they were moved in the same way. A littler earlier, I told President Aquino that his address was an “out-of-the-park homerun,” but I just learned that basketball is more popular in the Philippines than baseball, so I would like to revise my expression to “slam dunk.”
I am very grateful that President Aquino supports Japan’s efforts, including the path we have taken as a peaceful nation since WWII, as well as our proactive contributions to peace and our growth strategy. In this, our sixth meeting together, we were able to confirm recognition of our two countries’ relationship in various fields, and have a very meaningful discussion.
In the 70 years since the end of World War II, Japan and the Philippines have built an extremely friendly relationship, through unwavering effort and dedication. During this time, countless Japanese nationals, including aid officials and private sector employees, have dedicated themselves to assisting the Philippines in nation building.
When Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines two years ago, more than 1,000 Self Defense Force personnel were dispatched to aid in the relief. Also, many other Japanese nationals, including some in attendance this evening, asked how they could assist. At the time, the English Facebook page of the Prime Minister’s Office received a record number of likes and messages of thanks from Filipinos living around the world.
The people of the Philippines have also consistently demonstrated their good wishes and great kindness to Japan over the last seven decades. In welcoming President Aquino on this occasion, I have once again found that the goodwill and determination of both countries are the cornerstones of our present bilateral relationship. I have a renewed sense of determination to further strengthen this bond between our countries together with President Aquino.
Next year, we will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. I would like to offer a toast to the health and happiness of President Aquino and everyone here tonight and for the further development of our two countries’ relationship.”