7 August 2017 | Manila, Philippines
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano today welcomed Tokyo’s offer to step up its assistance to the Philippines to help counter the terrorist threat in Mindanao.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude for Japan’s generosity as well as its commitment in the fight against terrorism,” Secretary Cayetano said after his bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Sunday.
During their meeting, Foreign Minister Kono conveyed to Secretary Cayetano Tokyo’s intention to provide equipment and other assistance to support Manila’s counterterrorism efforts.
“We are happy to step up our assistance to the Philippines,” Foreign Minister Kono told Secretary Cayetano.
The assistance is in addition to the PhP100 million aid that Japan offered to help those displaced by the ongoing disturbance in Marawi.
The offer of assistance was conveyed in a letter to President Duterte by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The letter was handed to Secretary Cayetano last Friday by Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Shigeki Takizaki.
“I once again wish to assure the Japanese Government that we are exerting all efforts to expeditiously resolve the conflict in Marawi with due consideration to the safety of civilians and government forces, so that we may focus on rebuilding the city and restoring the lives of its people,” Secretary Cayetano said.
He told his Japanese counterpart that President Duterte has already tasked the Department of National Defense to lead a multiagency task force for Bangon Marawi to undertake the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Marawi area.
Secretary Cayetano also expressed the Philippine Government’s appreciation for the 1 trillion yen infrastructure and economic assistance package pledged by Prime Minister Abe during his visit early this year.