Ambassador Lopez meets State Secretary for Foreign Affairs on Philippine Relief Donation
Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez met with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yutaka Banno on 25 March 2011 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to convey that the Philippines will be sending more than 10.11 metric tons of relief supplies which would arrive via Philippine Airlines on the same day.
The shipment of relief supplies is based on the needs identified and requested by Japan. It is part of the Philippines standing commitment to assist in the humanitarian efforts in the areas affected by the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake.
Ambassador Lopez also reiterated the profound condolences and sympathies of President Benigno S. Aquino III and Filipino people to the Japanese government and people as they cope with the devastation and loss caused by the earthquake.
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Banno expressed Japan’s deep appreciation for the warm messages of sympathy and for the shipment of the relief items that are needed in the affected areas.
Ambassador Lopez cited the close and long standing ties between the Philippines and Japan and that Japan is home to a substantial number of Filipinos whose welfare the Philippine Embassy continues to look after. He said that the Embassy has already assisted more than 140 Filipinos from the Tohoku region who heeded its call for voluntary relocation and departure and brought them to temporary shelters in Tokyo where they are being cared for. He also said that the Embassy also continues intensify its efforts to locate and assist Filipinos in the affected areas, including bringing food and other supplies.
State Secretary Banno expressed his sadness and extended his sympathies upon learning that there have been two confirmed Filipino casualties. He assured that the Japanese government is ready to support the efforts of the Philippine Embassy in assisting Filipinos in the affected areas.
Ambassador Lopez reiterated that the Philippines is always ready to extend any support and assistance to Japan within its capability. This includes the transport of a humanitarian support team to Japan, which is on standby, should its services be requested. He also mentioned that many private individuals and organizations in the Philippines have also channeled their donations to the Japan Red Cross Society through the Philippine National Red Cross.
State Secretary Banno said that Japan is determined to rebuild itself after this crisis. Ambassador Lopez said that the Philippines also stands ready to assist in Japan’s reconstruction efforts. They both affirmed the desire and continuing efforts to strengthen and deepen Philippines-Japan bilateral relations.