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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte thanked Japan for its assistance in the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which paves the way for lasting peace in the region.

During his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Duterte recognized Japan’s generosity for funding the P14-billion Road Network Development Project, which links areas in BARMM and other regions of Mindanao.

A staunch supporter of the Mindanao peace process, Japan has committed to support the political transition and capacity-building of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, as well as, the implementation of disarmament of Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants and the grant of socioeconomic development assistance to the Bangsamoro people.

Duterte also recognized the assistance from the Japanese government as regards infrastructure development and enhancement of defense capabilities in the Philippines.

“I would like to give our heartfelt thanks for the Manila subway. It’s the first in the country and you are the only country who proposed to give it to us,” Duterte told Abe.

“I would like to again thank you for the air assets, the five TC-90s, UH-1H, we received from your government. We would hope to sustain this cooperation as my government looks for the acquisition of such aircraft and radar,” he said.

Duterte also expressed his gratitude to Japan for “granting prior consent” for the plan to open a Philippine Consulate General in Nagoya.

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