MANILA — The Philippines and Japan have agreed to advance the “rule of law” to settle territorial disputes with China.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said both nations are closely coordinating as regional situation becomes increasingly severe.
“I reaffirmed with President Aquino today the significance of the three principles of the rule of law..,” Prime Minister Abe said in his meeting with Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III during the latter’s working visit to Japan on Tuesday.
President Aquino said he and the Prime Minister recognized the need to safeguard the region’s security by “advancing the rule of law to protect our global and regional common interests.”
In a media interview, the President said that apart from upholding the rule of law, the Philippines is also pushing for the full implementation and compliance of the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.
“…Pero more importantly na sana (But more importantly, I hope that) ASEAN and China get to finish the COC (Code of Conduct),” he said. “And of course, (we pushed for) the full and final resolution using a peaceful settlement mechanism and other international laws to resolve all of these (territorial disputes).”
Apart from safeguarding the region’s security, President Aquino said the Philippines and Japan also agreed to strengthen cooperation in securing lasting peace and development in Mindanao.
“Japan is a partner that has stood with us throughout the entire peace process. We owe our deepest gratitude to Japan and the rest of the international community as we strive to build a truly just, inclusive and prosperous Mindanao,” he said.
On the economic front, the two countries agreed to further boost their ties.
“I convey to the President that we could continue to support approaches taken by the Philippines in urban infrastructure improvement and other areas,” Prime Minister Abe said.
“Infrastructure development is integral in sustaining the Philippines’ present growth trajectory, and the study on a transportation roadmap for Metro Manila and its surrounding areas is one of the many initiatives that highlight the vibrant cooperation that we enjoy in this area,” President Aquino said.
The Prime Minister also informed President Aquino about the relaxation of visa requirements for the Philippines toward the promotion of human exchange.
“It is hoped that many tourists from the Philippines would visit Japan,” he said.