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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Receives Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomes Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez at the Kantei, 23 May 2013

23 May 2013 –The further strengthening of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan based on shared values took center stage at Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario’s courtesy call on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Kantei (Prime Minister’s Office) in Tokyo this afternoon.

The Prime Minister and Secretary del Rosario discussed the regional situation and the particular maritime security challenges confronted in common by the Philippines and Japan, being two important island nations in the Asia-Pacific. They noted the Philippines and Japan’s shared advocacy in promoting the rule of law.

Secretary del Rosario informed PM Abe that last January, the Philippines had initiated arbitral proceedings pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to clarify maritime zones and entitlements in the South China Sea. Prime Minister Abe manifested the Japanese Government’s support for the Philippines’ move to resolve the disputes in accordance with international law.

Secretary del Rosario expressed the Philippines’ appreciation for Japan’s stance, stressing the crucial role of international law in attaining a durable resolution to international disputes based on a level playing field.

The Secretary also briefed Prime Minister Abe on the Philippines’ parallel pursuit of diplomatic and political avenues in order to address maritime concerns.

Prime Minister Abe and Secretary del Rosario welcomed this year’s commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. They also exchanged views on other regional matters, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Secretary del Rosario is concluding a two-day visit to Tokyo, having been invited to address the prestigious annual Nikkei International Conference on the Future of Asia.

Apart from the call on Prime Minister Abe, the trip saw the Foreign Secretary meet with his Japanese counterpart, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice President Hiroto Arakawa, and Representative Katsuyuki Kawai, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of Japan’s House of Representatives.

Japan is the Philippines’ number one trade partner and provider of official development assistance.