PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte won pledges from Japan yesterday to help with fighting terrorism and renewing the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in Tokyo that he welcomed the recent liberation of the town of Marawi from occupation by Isis-aligned jihadists, applauding his guest’s role during the crisis.
“I express my heartfelt respect for President Duterte’s leadership on the recent declaration of liberation in Marawi. We will provide full support for his counter-terrorism effort and steps to ensure regional peace and stability.”
The two leaders agreed to co-operate on various projects, including an underground railway system for metropolitan Manila, energy development, maritime safety and the fight against drugs and drug trafficking.
They are laying out project details under a 1 trillion yen (£6.7 billion) assistance package spanning five years that Japan pledged earlier this year.
Mr Duterte said that he personally chose Japan as the destination of his first official overseas trip after Marawi’s liberation. He praised Tokyo for its support, singling out Mr Abe for his pledge of help in rebuilding Marawi and the surrounding region “in a timely manner.”
Tokyo’s assistance includes 15.9 billion yen (£106 million) in low-interest financing for a water management project in flood-prone Cavite province and another 100 billion yen (£670m) for the Manila metro, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Japan is also providing patrol boats and speedboats for the Philippine coastguard and financing training programmes to step up its security capacity.