Philippines and Japan Strengthen Cooperation on Coast Guard and Environment

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) shakes hands with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during their bilateral meeting, on the sidelines of the Asean-Japan Summit, at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on December 17, 2023. PHOTO BY FRANCK ROBICHON / POOL / AFP
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TOKYO, Japan: The Philippines and Japan on Sunday signed agreements on coast guard and environment cooperation, reaffirming their commitment to further strengthen their bilateral relations. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida witnessed the exchange of agreements between the Coast Guard and Environment ministries of both countries after their bilateral meeting on Sunday.

During the meeting, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Ronnie Gavan and Japan Coast Guard Commandant ISHII Shohei exchanged a memorandum of cooperation, solidifying the collaboration between the two coast guards. Additionally, Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and Minister of the Environment of Japan ITO Shintaro exchanged a memorandum of cooperation in the field of environmental protection.

Kishida, in his opening remarks, expressed his gratitude for Marcos’ visit to Japan and the warm welcome he received during his visit to the Philippines in November. He emphasized Japan’s commitment to promoting cooperation with ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, ensuring a world where human dignity is protected.

In response, Marcos expressed his gratitude to Japan for its assistance to the Philippines and expressed his desire to work closely with Kishida to further develop Japan-Philippines relations.

Furthermore, the Philippines is expected to sign more than five business deals with Japanese investors, adding to the investment pledges made during the President’s previous trip to Japan.

The signing of these agreements reflects the growing partnership between the Philippines and Japan, both strategically and economically. By strengthening cooperation in the areas of coast guard and environment, the two countries are taking concrete steps towards addressing shared challenges and promoting sustainable development.

Coast guard cooperation between the Philippines and Japan is crucial for ensuring maritime security and safety in the region. With their extensive coastlines and shared maritime interests, both countries recognize the importance of collaboration in combating piracy, illegal fishing, and other maritime threats. The memorandum of cooperation signed by the coast guards of both nations will facilitate joint training exercises, information sharing, and capacity building initiatives.

Similarly, the memorandum of cooperation in the field of environmental protection demonstrates the commitment of both countries to address environmental challenges, such as climate change and pollution. Through knowledge exchange, joint research projects, and policy coordination, the Philippines and Japan aim to enhance their efforts in environmental conservation and sustainable resource management.

These agreements not only strengthen the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Japan but also contribute to regional stability and prosperity. As Japan seeks to deepen its engagement with ASEAN countries, the Philippines emerges as a key partner in promoting a rules-based international order. The signing of these agreements sets a positive precedent for future collaborations and paves the way for increased trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.

Overall, the signing of agreements on coast guard and environment cooperation between the Philippines and Japan marks an important milestone in their bilateral relations. It demonstrates their shared commitment to addressing common challenges, promoting sustainable development, and fostering a stronger partnership. With these agreements in place, the Philippines and Japan are well-positioned to navigate the changing dynamics of the region and contribute to a more secure and prosperous future.

Source: The Manila Times

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