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PH thanks Japan for support

The Philippine government is overwhelmed with gratitude for Japan’s outpouring generosity and support to the country, from enhanced investment and development aid to the drug rehabilitation efforts.

President Duterte has thanked Japan for the “special friendship” with the Philippines and assured the country’s resolve to further strengthen the “solid and strategic partnership” with the Asian ally.

“To the people of Japan, for your generosity and prosperity,” the President said in his toast during the state banquet held in honor of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Malacañang Thursday night.

“I am humbled by this demonstration of friendship and look forward to working closely with Prime Minister Abe on all matters of mutual interest,” said Duterte who described Japan “a friend closer to a brother.”

In his two-day official visit, Abe earlier announced Japan will provide an aid package worth one trillion yen to the Philippines in investment and infrastructure development over the next five years.

Japan also offered a 600 million yen grant for high speed boats and other counterterrorism equipment to boost country’s maritime security. It also promised support for rehabilitation of drug offenders as well as peace and development initiatives in Mindanao.

Duterte said Abe’s historic visit to the Philippines has set the bar for “constructive engagements,” citing Japan’s economic and defense support for the country. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)