Japan's Abe arrives in Manila for APEC summit
MANILA, Philippines – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Manila on Wednesday, November 18, to join other Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders for a key regional meeting, his third Philippine visit since 2006.
Abe's plane touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 11:15 am.
Abe comes to the country as Japan negotiates a “legal arrangement” with the Philippines to finalize a deal on its provision of military equipment to the latter. He is expected to discuss this in a bilateral meeting with President Benigno Aquino III on the sidelines of the APEC summit.
Abe first went on an official visit to the Philippines in December 2006, to mark the 50th year of the normalization of relations between the two countries, which fought on opposite sides during World War II.
He returned in July 2013 for another official visit seen to further advance Japan’s strategic partnership with the country. During that visit, Abe vowed to donate patrol boats to the Philippines, which is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China.
Japan is the Philippines' top trade partner and provider of official development assistance, and is among the country’s major sources of approved investments.
Before Abe arrived in Manila, Japan already issued a strong statement during the APEC Summit concerning the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday, November 16, said the “act of terror” in Paris “reminded us of the importance of the fight against terrorism.”
“It is a serious challenge to our shared values, and the international community should be united to strongly condemn such act. Japan will continue to make its utmost efforts to fight against terrorism in close cooperation with the international community,” the Japanese foreign minister said. – Rappler.com