Japan, South Korea leaders expected to visit PH
Japan, South Korea leaders expected to visit PH
Japan, South Korea leaders expected to visit PH
by Daylight Abas11 July 2023
Photo courtesy: The Korean Herald / The Government of Japan

Japan and South Korea's ambassadors revealed that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol are expected to visit the Philippines.

According to Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa during the reception for the 69th founding anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces on July 7, Kishida will visit the country by the end of the year "to forge even closer ties and lasting partnerships."

Koshikawa added that Japan is expecting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s participation in the celebration of the ASEAN-Japan friendship’s 50th anniversary to be held in Tokyo in December.

With the rapidly changing tides in the global environment, he also said, Japan-Philippines defense and security cooperation is becoming increasingly important, and they are directing their focus on generating concrete measures that will deepen their defense partnership.

Marcos visited Japan in February after reaching an agreement with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to grant the US greater access to Philippine military stations.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is anticipated to visit the Philippines this year or early next year to deepen bilateral ties, according to Ambassador Lee Sang-hwa on July 10.

Lee made the remarks at Malacañang during the presentation of his credentials to President Marcos.

In 2024, the Philippines and South Korea will mark the 75th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

In response to Lee, Marcos stated that he, too, is looking forward to meeting the South Korean leader during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November.

In addition to Yoon, Lee stated that South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and the South Korean Foreign Minister will visit the country this year to meet with their counterparts.

As the world recovers from the pandemic, Marcos said he looks forward to greater partnerships and alliances with nations like South Korea, particularly in the fields of security and defense.

Lee stated that South Korea intends to deepen bilateral connections in a variety of areas, including security and defense cooperation, commerce and investment, and people-to-people interactions.

The envoy also reaffirmed his country's commitment to energy cooperation with the Philippines, stating that South Korea is particularly interested in energy generation at the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

In 2022, overall trade between the two countries will reach $15.44 billion, making South Korea the Philippines' fourth largest trading partner.

During the same time period, exports totaled $3.13 billion (the seventh largest export destination) and imports totaled $12.31 billion (the fourth largest import source).

In terms of defense, the Philippines' significant South Korean procurement projects include two 2,600-ton multimillion-dollar frigates, 12 FA-50 aircraft for the Philippine Air Force, and a Pohang-class corvette for the Philippine Navy.

Furthermore, the defense department signed a P30 billion contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries last year for the procurement of six offshore patrol vessels for the Philippine Navy, with the first delivery scheduled for 2025.

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