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Philippine Governors Undertake Study Visit in Japan on Smart Cities, Agriculture, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

A delegation of Philippine governors with officials of the Philippine Embassy, the Office of the Philippine Agriculture Attaché, and Tokyo Seika Trading Co., Ltd. at the Ota Market, the largest of Tokyo’s wholesale markets. The delegates are undertaking a Study Visit in Japan in the week of 22 April 2024, focusing on smart cities, sustainable agriculture, and disaster risk reduction and management.

TOKYO, 25 April 2024 – A delegation of Philippine governors representing various provinces who are in Japan this week for a study visit focused on smart cities, sustainable agriculture, and disaster risk reduction and management. Organized under the Leading Provincial Programs for Local Empowerment and Development by the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) and with the support of the Philippine Embassy, the study visit aims to explore best practices, innovative technologies, and strategies that can be adapted and implemented in the Philippines to enhance urban development, agricultural productivity, and disaster resilience.

The delegation, led by LPP President and South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr, has engaged in a series of meetings, site visits, and discussions with Japanese government officials, experts, and industry leaders to learn from Japan’s experiences and successes in these key areas.

Among the highlights of the visit was the tour of the Suginami Waste-to-Energy Facility where the delegates learned about Japan’s advanced waste incineration technology. The delegation also visited the Hitachi Ltd. headquarters on Disaster Preparedness in Tokyo to explore smart city solutions.

Through the facilitation of the Office of the Agriculture Attaché and the Economic Section of the Philippine Embassy in Japan, the delegation was able to visit the Ota Market, which is the largest of all the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market Sites. As the Philippines is a major source of pineapples and bananas in Japan, the delegates had productive discussions on the Ota Market’s trading practices and promotion of fresh produce.

The delegates also traveled to Tochigi Prefecture to visit the state-of-the-art greenhouses of Seiwa Tomato Park. This visit showcased technology-driven horticultural methods, which are of particular interest to the provinces in the Philippines as they continue to address agricultural and rural development challenges currently exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon.

At the Ministry of the Environment Japan, the delegates exchanged views with Japanese government officials and experts on early warning systems, and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. They also met with Parliamentary Vice Minister of the Environment Kentaro Asahi who underscored the close bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and Japan in environmental protection and climate issues.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano expressed support for the study visit, highlighting the importance of international collaboration and knowledge exchange in addressing shared challenges and advancing sustainable development.

“This study visit provides a valuable opportunity for Filipino government leaders to gain insights, exchange knowledge, and establish partnerships with their Japanese counterparts. Through this collaboration, we hope to enhance our capacities to achieve sustainable growth and resilience for our provinces and communities in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Garcia-Albano.

Bound by a Strategic Partnership since 2011, the Philippines and Japan have mutually committed to further broaden their cooperation in pursuit of national development and regional peace and stability.

[Left side, forefront to back] Governor Nina Ricci Ynares (Rizal); Governor Susan Yap (Tarlac); Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr (South Cotabato); Governor Ricarte Padilla (Camarines Norte); and Governor Dulce Ann Hofer (Zamboanga Sibugay) represent the Philippine delegation to the meeting with Japanese Vice Minister of the Environment Kentaro Asahi on 24 April 2024 at the Ministry of the Environment in Tokyo, Japan.