MANILA — Japan and the United States (US) have assured their continued support for the Philippines in addressing challenges and threats, foremost among them is fighting terrorism.
In his message during the anniversary of Araw ng Kagitingan delivered at Mt. Samat, Bataan, Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa said peace building in Mindanao was among the top priorities for assistance from Japan.
“Japan has also been contributing to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region throughout these 70 years as peace-loving nations, as one of the best partners of the Philippines, and as an ally of the United States of America,” he said.
Ishikawa assured that “the path Japan has taken as a peace-loving nation in the past 70 years will remain unchanged.”
He said the collaboration between the Philippines and Japan has been expanding through security and defense cooperation.
Apart from these collaboration initiatives, Ishikawa added that Japan would continue to be trading partner and donor of official development assistance (ODA) to the Philippines.
“We are always one of the largest investors to the Philippines and have been the number one donor of ODA for decades, not to mention projects for infrastructure and socioeconomic development. We provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief when typhoon ‘Yolanda’ hit this country,” he said.
For his part, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said many countries continued facing challenges and threats, particularly fighting the scourge of international terrorism.
“In 2015, as in 1942, we face challenges and threats together as partners, friends, and in many cases now, family. Whether we are fighting terrorism or responding to the devastation of natural disasters, we face them together. And when the Philippines is threatened, it is not alone,” he said in the same event.
On April 9, 1942 or 73 years ago, 76,000 Americans and Filipinos gave their lives fighting in defense of freedom and liberty of Bataan and Corregidor.