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Japan “fully committed” in supporting PH’s big ticket infra projects and economic efforts –Amb. Koshikawa
Japan “fully committed” in supporting PH’s big ticket infra projects and economic efforts –Amb. Koshikawa
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Japan “fully committed” in supporting PH’s big ticket infra projects and economic efforts –Amb. Koshikawa
by Karen Ow-Yong27 February 2024
Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko delivers his speech during the annual National Day Reception at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Taguig City last February 23, 2024. The event also celebrated the 64th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. (Photo courtesy of Japanese Embassy in the PH)

MANILA – Japan expressed its full commitment in contributing to the construction of important infrastructure projects in the Philippines as bilateral relations between the two countries have “evolved” beyond traditional areas.

During the reception to celebrate the 64th birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, outgoing Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko reiterated Japan’s support for the country’s infrastructure development, after the meeting of both countries’ leaders last year.

“When President Marcos visited Japan February last year, the government and the private sector of Japan expressed the full support for economic development plans spearheaded by the Marcos administration,” Ambassador Koshikawa said.

“Moving forward, Japan is fully committed to contributing to the construction of important infrastructure projects such as the Metro Manila Subway, the North-South Commuter Railway, and the Davao Bypass, as well as the provision of additional brand-new patrol vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard,” Koshikawa added.

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(Photo courtesy of Japanese Embassy in the PH)

Japan welcomes PH economic reforms

As for the private sector, Koshikawa said that Japan welcomes ongoing efforts to improve the investment and business environment of the Philippines.

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“I am convinced that it will lead to a steady and substantial increase of foreign direct investment in this country with immense potential. At the same time, we also greatly anticipate investment to Japan from the Philippine business community, and the Japanese Embassy and JETRO will provide assistance to interested companies,” Koshikawa said.

In its website, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said that its Manila office “has grown both in size and function, now offering various services and activities geared towards the promotion of Japanese trade and investment and displays a particular emphasis on helping both the Japanese and Filipino SMEs.”

It added that “its services offer the means for Japanese companies to establish business tie-ups with local companies and assist them with regards to investment opportunities in the country, while Filipino companies can find new business opportunities through the organization's diverse activities such as business seminars and matching events among others.”

Late last year, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. acknowledged that there are certain economic provisions preventing potential investments to enter the country.

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In a media interview, Marcos said, ““What we are looking at here is the opportunity cost of those who would like to invest here but somehow the laws that derived from the Constitution when it comes to the economic provisions do not allow them to or make it non-viable for them,” he said in a media interview.”

Trade Secretary Fred Pascual said in an earlier interview that “the government is expected to push for measures aimed at facilitating entry of foreign investors, such as amending the Public Services Act to allow full foreign ownership of firms involved in telecommunications, shipping, air carriers, railways, subways, airports and toll roads; as well as the implementing rules and regulations for the Renewable Energy Act to allow 100 percent ownership of renewable energy projects.”

(Photo courtesy of Japanese Embassy in the PH)

“Heart-to heart ties for the Next Generation – PM Kishida”

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Japan also highlighted the “heart-to-heart” relationship between the two countries, as evidenced by its full support for the Mindanao peace process, when Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio delivered a policy speech with the same title at the Join Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives during his first official visit to the country November last year.

“Mindanao peace process is an integral part of the "heart-to-heart" relationship between us over the past 20 years. As the peace process steadily progresses towards the significant milestone of establishing an autonomous Bangsamoro government next year, Japan remains committed to ensuring lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao,” Koshikawa emphasized.

Japan has more than 100 projects for the promotion of peace and development in Mindanao with a total input of USD 515 million (PHP 26 billion) since 2002, under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD).

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