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PH solidifies bilateral ties with Japan through several agreements

QUEZON CITY (PIA) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida commit to continuing the good relationship between the Philippines and Japan. 

The two leaders witness the signing of agreements focused on the developments in infrastructure, disaster relief, agriculture, and digitalization, all are expected to be beneficial to the country. 


Listed under the continuing projects between the Philippines and Japan are the Japanese Official Development Project: NSCR – Malolos to Tutuban Project (II) and the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCR) Project (II). These projects are financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 

The NSCR – Malolos to Tutuban Project (II) will run from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban Center, Manila. Construction of this railway began in 2019 and as of January 2022, it is more than 50% complete. This breakthrough project uses Japanese technology and is expected to be completed by 2024. 

Providing more access to the Filipino people, ADB and Japan also funded the NSCR-Extension project which is a 51-km North extension that will run from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark International Airport in Pampanga, while the 55-km South extension will run from Solis, Manila to Calamba, Laguna.

During the visit, the two leaders also shared their notes about the progress of these projects. After the exchange of notes, both projects were also granted loan agreements. 

Japan has a long history of assisting the Philippines' railway sector. Aside from NSCR projects the foreign nation also proposed for Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 extension to Cavite. It also supported the recently completed extension of LRT Line 2 to Masinag, Antipolo under the Capacity Enhancement of Mass Transit Systems in Metro Manila Project, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 Rehabilitation projects, in addition to the Metro Manila Subway.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Agriculture and Communication

As part of his role as the head of the Department of Agriculture, a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Agriculture was signed together with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. 

Japan is one of the best partners when it comes to technology and its advancements, a MOC in the Field of Information and Communications Technology was also signed. 

Aside from these government-to-government agreements, there were also government-to-business partnerships with leading Japanese firms also signing Letters of Intent (LOI) on investments and agreements. 

For his part, the President says this move is vital and game-changing for the local business environment. 

Disaster Relief 

Umbrella Terms of Reference (TOR) on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Cooperation is one of the agreements made by Marcos and Kishida. Department of National Defense OIC Senior Undersecretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. presented the TOR during the visit. 

Both the Philippines and Japan are prone to typhoons and earthquakes thus, the main objective of this agreement is the exchange of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) on the groups’ best practices in responding to natural disasters. 

Similar to infrastructure assistance, Japan through JICA also had a prior program implemented in the Philippines. The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Capacity Enhancement Project Phase II (DRRM-CEPII) was participated by personnel from OCD and local government units (LGUs).

President Marcos is optimistic about the continuous partnership between the Philippines and Japan. He looks forward to celebrating milestones with this Asian neighbor. Aside from existing projects, the administration also sees the expansion of mutual interest. 

Marcos intends to maintain strong ties with Japan to provide projects and programs that are designed to better the lives of the Filipino people. (MVV, PIA-CPSD)  

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Maria Viktoria Viado

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