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Teddy Locsin has high hopes for Reiwa era under new Japanese emperor

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MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Tuesday said the Reiwa era under new Japanese Emperor Naruhito could drive a stronger partnership between Manila and Tokyo.

“On the bilateral front, we are confident that the Reiwa era will impart a stronger impetus to our Strategic Partnership,” he said during the reception on the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.

Emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1, effectively ending the Heisei era of Japan.

The transition marked the beginning of Reiwa or “beautiful harmony” in place of Heisei, which denotes to the period of “achieving peace.”

At present, the country’s top diplomat said the two nations’ ties is already at its “best” form in “all aspects that you could think of.”

In 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced that Tokyo and Manila have entered the “Golden Age of Strategic Partnership,” following the “maximum support” Japan extended to the Philippines, particularly on the rebuilding of war-ravaged Marawi City.

After his summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in October 2017, the landmark “Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the Next Five Years” was issued, emphasizing Tokyo’s intention to steadily implement its contribution totaling 1 trillion yen over the next five years through public and private sector efforts.

Locsin, for his part, sees the continuous support of Japan to the Philippines under the new emperor.

“Japan is the most generous partner of the Philippines, no question about that. Japan just helps and that, of course, will continue under the new emperor,” he told reporters in an interview.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda confirmed that assistance, majority of which are heavily poured into Mindanao’s development, are continuous in the Philippines.

“In the new era of Reiwa, we will engage in our best efforts to further promote stronger ties with the people of the Philippines,” he said in a speech.

“Many cooperation projects are likewise in the pipeline,” he noted. (PNA)

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