New age of PH-Japan seen

HERALDING a new age of Philippine-Japanese friendship, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines His Excellency Koji Haneda celebrated on Tuesday the ascension of Emperor Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Alongside Arroyo, former President, were former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and H.E. Haneda’s wife, Iheka Haneda.

The event was also attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and other Filipino and Japanese dignitaries.

Locsin said the Philippines is one with Japan in looking forward to the Reiwa Era under the new emperor as time of peace and prosperity.

“We share the Japanese people’s hope that the Reiwa Era heralds a time of harmony for Japan and our region as we ride the wave of unbridled opportunity from gain and loss,” said Locsin.

Locsin added that this new era shall further strengthen bilateral relations as Japan is considered a true ally of the Philippines.

“On the bilateral front, we are confident that the Reiwa Era will impart a stronger impetus to our strategic partnership. Japan has an important place in our pantheon of real friends. It is, in the words of His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte, ‘a friend closer than a brother,’” Locsin said.

Meanwhile, H.E. Haneda said that the robust diplomatic ties of the Philippines and Japan is at its golden age.

“Across the 30 years of the Heisei Era of His Majesty Emperor Emeritus Akihito, the relations between Japan and the Philippines were immensely strengthened. We are now here enjoying the golden age of our strategic partnership,” Haneda said.

The Ambassador added that he is confident that the harmonious friendship of the Philippines and Japan will continue as Japan enters its Reiwa Era.

The two countries are already collaborating on new labor initiatives on labor and deepening people to people relations, and have other cooperation projects in the pipeline.