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MANILA — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has expressed desire for the Japanese government to continue its support for the development of Mindanao, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Kono made this commitment upon meeting President Rodrigo R. Duterte in a courtesy call on Saturday (February 9) at Matina Enclaves, Davao City.

“Foreign Minister Kono, for his part, said Japan welcomes the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. He also mentioned that Japan would like to continue to support the development of Mindanao,” a news release from Malacañang read.

Kono also expressed Japan’s sympathy to the victims of the twin blasts that rocked Jolo on January 27.

The Japanese official is in the country for a three-day official visit as part of the official’s agenda in the inauguration ceremony of the Japanese Consulate General in Davao.

He said Japan is pleased to be able to open up a new consulate general in the City of Davao.

Kono was accompanied by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and Davao Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel were also present during the courtesy call.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Kono’s visit is a “testament to the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan”. (PNA)

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