Countering China, Abe agrees $9bn aid package with Duterte- Nikkei Asian Review

Countering China, Abe agrees $9bn aid package with Duterte- Nikkei Asian Review

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to deliver nearly $9 billion in aid to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to rebuild battle-damaged areas of Mindanao island and improve infrastructure throughout the country.

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe pledged Monday to deliver nearly $9 billion in aid to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to rebuild battle-damaged areas of Mindanao island and improve infrastructure throughout the country.

Abe and Duterte signed a joint statement agreeing to a public- and private-sector contribution worth a total of 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) for the rapidly growing Southeast Asian country of over 7,000 islands.

At the signing ceremony following the bilateral summit meeting, Abe said, “As he moves forward in his efforts to fight terrorism, and also for stability in Mindanao, we would like to provide our full support to President Duterte’s approach.” Duterte replied: “The Philippines and Japan are building a golden age of our strategic partnership.”

The offer of aid over the next five years had basically been agreed by the two leaders in January, when Abe visited the Philippines. He gave further details of the package Monday, to which the Philippine leader agreed.

Another area of interest to both leaders is security in the South China Sea, over much of which China claims control. Duterte will chair the upcoming meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines in the first half of November.

The two leaders agreed that North Korea’s provocations must be dealt with. Abe named the nuclear and missile programs, as well as a prompt resolution of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens, as common issues that Japan and the Philippines will work together to address.

Regarding Pyongyang’s continuing missile launches and nuclear tests, Duterte, who chairs the ASEAN meeting this year, said, “We condemn these tests.” He also urged North Korea to come back to the negotiating table to peacefully resolve the situation.

The fourth meeting between Abe and Duterte was aimed at deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, and ended fruitfully for the Philippines.

Mindanao, especially the city of Marawi, has been hard-hit by fighting between government forces and Islamic fighters linked to the Islamic State militant group. The area has been under martial law since May, and Duterte recently declared victory over the militants.

Japan’s aid is intended to help the swift rebuilding of Marawi as soon as martial law is lifted, and to restore lasting stability in the area.

Read more – https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Countering-China-Abe-agrees-9bn-aid-package-with-Duterte

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