Marcos Jr. to Fly to Japan for ASEAN-Japan Summit on Dec. 15

MANILA/TOKYO – Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is scheduled to fly to Tokyo on Dec. 15 to participate in the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit, marking 50 years of friendship and cooperation. The summit and related events will run until Dec. 18.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu, the President’s attendance is crucial because Japan is one of the first dialogue partners of ASEAN, and it is one of the most dynamic.

“Its participation in ASEAN has covered not only political security matters such as defense and transnational crime and mutual legal assistance, but also mutual economic activities which all help in community building in ASEAN; and also cultural and people-to-people activities,” Espiritu told reporters during a Palace press briefing on Monday.

“It’s a whole gamut of relations, and they were able to sustain and develop it through the years such that this year, they were declared comprehensive strategic partner of ASEAN,” he added.

Marcos Jr., together with First Lady Liza Marcos, is set to attend a dinner hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife, Yuko Kishida, on Dec. 16, as announced by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

The next day, the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit is scheduled, followed by a gala dinner.

On Dec. 18, Marcos Jr. is slated to participate in the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Leaders Meeting, followed by a lunch meeting hosted by Keidanren and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as per the provided schedule.

Furthermore, Espiritu noted the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Marcos Jr. and Kishida, emphasizing that no additional details on the agenda have been provided at this time.

A small delegation, described by Espiritu as a “lean and mean” group, will join the President and First Lady. This includes House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Foreign Affairs Sec. Enrique Manalo, Trade Sec. Alfredo Pascual, Presidential Adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go, Communications Sec. Cheloy Garafil, and some officials from the DFA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). - Florenda Corpuz

(Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. meets with the Filipino community in Japan at Bellesalle Tokyo on Feb. 12, 2023. Photo by Din Eugenio)