By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The Duterte administration is looking forward to working with Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga to further boost Manila and Tokyo’s bilateral cooperation, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“The Duterte Administration is ready to work with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in further strengthening the strategic bilateral cooperation building on the special relationship established with former Prime Minister Abe Shinzō. The Philippines considers Japan as a close friend, a friend closer than a brother,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.
“We are committed to do everything to make these ties move from strength to the greater strength. Congratulations po sa bagong Prime Minister po ng Japan (Congratulations to the new Prime Minister of Japan),” he added.
Suga is a close confidante of outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Abe. His term in office will continue until Japan’s general elections in September 2021.
His predecessor Abe announced his intention to resign from office due to health reasons on August 28. He is suffering from ulcerative colitis.
In a previous statement, President Rodrigo Duterte hailed Japan’s contribution to the peace and security in Asia Pacific under Abe’s leadership. In the past few years, he said Tokyo had proactively advanced regional security and the rule of law especially in the maritime commons in the region. (PNA)