Meeting between Mr. Katsuya Okada, Deputy Prime Minister, and Mr. Jejomar C. Binay, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
On Tuesday, July 17, Mr. Katsuya Okada, Deputy Prime Minister, held a meeting with H.E. Jejomar C. Binay, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, who was on his visit to Japan, from 10:30 am for approximately 40 minutes. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
- Deputy Prime Minister Okada welcomed Vice President Binay's visit to Japan and stated the fact that the bilateral relationship between both countries was defined as a "strategic partnership" when H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines visited Japan last September had a very significant meaning, and that he would like to further deepen the bilateral relations. Deputy Prime Minister Okada also welcomed the close communication at a high-level between the two countries, such as a visit to Japan by H.E. Albert F. Del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, at the end of June. In response, Vice President Binay stated that further enhancement of the "strategic partnership" was important and invited Deputy Prime Minister Okada to visit the Philippines, stating that he wanted to continue to realize high-level exchanges between the two countries.
- Deputy Prime Minister Okada pointed out that although trade between Japan and the Philippines had been steadily expanding since the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) entered into force in December 2008, there was still room to grow both in quality and quantity. Deputy Prime Minister Okada also stated that in the field of economy, Japan and the Philippines, which have young and good labor forces and a big demand in infrastructure, were in complementary relations and the Government of Japan would proactively utilize the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to support human resource development and infrastructure development in the Philippines. In response, Vice President Binay stated that Japan is their largest trade and investment partner and expressed his gratitude for being the biggest provider of the ODA. Moreover, Vice President Binay stressed that the Government of the Philippines had been making its best efforts to eradicate corruption while making efforts to improve the predictability of its economic policies and stated that he expected Japanese enterprises to invest in the fields of energy and tourism promotion. In response, Deputy Prime Minister Okada mentioned the importance of appealing the superiority of the Philippines as an investment destination. Subsequently, concerning the acceptance of candidates for nurses and care-workers, Vice President Binay expressed his gratitude for efforts by the Government of Japan to improve acceptance conditions, in spite of the Japanese Government's understanding of the current difficult situations. In response, Deputy Prime Minister Okada stated that he would like to make improvements for smooth acceptance of the candidates in the future as well.
- Vice President Binay stated that it was his special mission from President Aquino to protect Philippine overseas workers and that there are about 220,000 Philippines in Japan including those who are Japanese spouses. When Deputy Prime Minister Okada stated that 70% of the crew of Japanese merchant vessels were from the Philippines, Vice President Binay expressed his gratitude for the activities of the Self-Defense Forces concerning anti-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia, mentioning that many from the Philippines were working on merchant vessels.
- In addition to the above, Deputy Prime Minister Okada and Vice President Binay exchanged opinions on regional situations and other issues.