Aquino hails 'short but productive' Japan trip
MANILA, Philippines – Preisdent Benigno Aquino III returned to Manila from Japan on Wednesday, June 25, calling his one-day visit "short but productive."
Aquino said he aimed to return to the country with "good news for our countrymen," which he cited during his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City.
During his trip, Aquino met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and delivered a keynote address on the Bangsamoro Peace Process at the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference, organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Research and Education for Peace of the Universiti Sains Malaysia.
The President highlighted the fruits of the trip, emphasizing the following benefits for Filipinos:
- Japan's revisiting of its laws in accepting foreign workers, specifically domestic workers, nurses and caregivers and assigning them to strategic places across the country
- Implementation of Japan's technical and vocational training which could further develop the skills of Filipino workers through an apprenticeship program
- Japan visa relaxation for Filipino tourists
- JICA assistance in studying transportation systems in Manila, specifically the possibility of a subway system
- Interest of Japan's automotive industry in manufacturing operations in the Philippines
- Discussions on further cooperation to increase security and stability in the region's seas amid territorial disputes with China (READ: Philippines backs Japan bid to defend allies)
Aquino said the developments take place as faith in the country's institutions return, and peace is attainable in Mindanao. He also thanked Japan's help in working towards peace in the Bangsamoro.
The President said he has invited Abe to attend the Philippine Development Forum in Davao on September, where steps to strengthen commerce, industries and tourism in the Bangsamoro will be further discussed.
Japan hosted secret talks between Aquino and MILF leader Murad Ebrahim in 2011, which was later recognized as a critical move that jumpstarted the peace negotiations. – Rappler.com