MANILA – The five-day state visit of Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko to the country has further deepened the 60-year diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan, a Malacañang official said on Friday.
Citing the significance of the Imperial couple’s visit, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have become exemplary role models of humility and advocates of strengthening relations between the two nations.
“Ang pagdalaw dito nina Emperor Akihito at Empress Michiko ay higit pang nagpatibay sa anim na dekadang diplomatic relations ng Pilipinas at Japan, lalong naging matatag ang ating people-to-people friendship and cooperation, at talaga namang ang Imperial Majesties – Emperor and Empress of Japan—ay nagsilbing exemplars or role models sa pagiging mapagkumbaba at sa pagiging tagapagtaguyod ng pagkakaibigan at kooperasyon sa pagitan ng Japan at ng Pilipinas,” Secretary Coloma said.
The state visit of The Emperor and Empress of Japan to the country marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan.
“Sila ang simbolo ng Japanese nation and people; dala nila ang tremendous goodwill at ang pagnanasa ng kanilang bansa na gawing mas matibay pa ang umiiral na pagkakaibigan at kooperasyon sa pagitan ng dalawang bansa,” Coloma said.
The Palace official said Japan is the country’s top trading partner and a major source of official development assistance.
He said Japan has also been the Philippine government’s partner in infrastructure development, as well as in promoting lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao.
“Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy silang tumutulong sa mahalagang proyekto nating pang-imprastruktura at sa pagtatamo ng kapayapaan,” Coloma said.
“Kaya’t sa lahat ng larangan, ang Japan ay talagang tumitindig bilang strategic partner at ang pagdalaw ng kanilang Emperor at Empress ay nagpatibay at nagpatatag pa nang higit sa relasyon ng dalawang bansa,” he added.
The Emperor and Empress of Japan are in Manila for a five-day state visit at the invitation of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
They attended events in Manila on January 27 and January 28, which included a meeting with President Aquino in Malacañang Palace, and visited Caliraya and Los Baños in Laguna on January 29.
The Emperor and Empress are scheduled to return to Japan on Saturday.