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Japan PM visits PH, offers ¥1-T aid package

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Japan has offered a one trillion yen aid package for the Philippines in the next five years to promote economic and infrastructure development.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan announced the large financial aid package after holding summit talks with President Duterte on intensifying cooperation on trade and investments, maritime security, law enforcement in Malacañang.

Abe, accompanied by his wife Akie, cabinet ministers, and business delegation, arrived in Manila for a two-day official visit that includes a stopover in Davao City on Friday.

He is the first head of state to visit the Philippines since Duterte assumed office last June. His visit comes amid Manila’s efforts to boost ties with China and lessen reliance on Tokyo’s traditional ally, the United States.

“For the further development of the Philippine, we will create business opportunities through ODA (official development assistance) and private sector investments which together will be of the order of 1 trillion yen over the next five years,” Abe said in his remarks.

A committee from both countries will be established to promote economic cooperation and implement infrastructure investments in the Philippines, according to Abe.

He said Japan is ready to provide technology and know-how “to the fullest extent” for the improvement of infrastructure in Metro Manila and the rest of the Philippines.

Japan is also committed to continue to provide support for the peace and development in Mindanao. “A decision has been taken to start studies for the urban development and flood control of Davao City,” he added.