Philippines, Japan, US Forge Historic Trilateral Cooperation to Protect Indo-Pacific

MANILA – Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and United States President Joe Biden forged a stronger trilateral alliance to protect the Indo-Pacific region and secure a better future for all during the first-ever trilateral summit of the three countries at the White House on April 11 (US time).

Marcos Jr., in his opening remarks, said that the trilateral meeting between the Philippines, Japan, and the US is “bound by a shared vision and pursuit of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific” region amid challenges to international rules-based order.

“Facing the complex challenges of our time requires concerted efforts on everyone’s part, a dedication to a common purpose, and unwavering commitment to the rules-based international order. This is a meeting that looks ahead,” he told Biden and Kishida.

“As we deepen our ties and enhance our coordination, we seek to identify ways of growing our economies and making them more resilient, climate-proofing our cities and our societies, sustaining our development progress, and forging a peaceful world for the next generation,” he added.

The Filipino leader also emphasized that the meeting is an opportunity for them to define the future they want, and how they intend to achieve it as one.

For his part, Biden said that the “new era of partnership” with the Philippines, the US and Japan is anchored on building an Indo-Pacific that is free, open, prosperous and secure for all through the deepened ties of the three countries.

“When we stand as one, we’re able to forge a better future for all. And that’s what this new trilateral is all about in my view. Building a better future for people crossing the Pacific, and quite frankly beyond around the world,” he said.

Kishida, on the other hand, said that the Japanese government continues to reaffirm its commitment to further strengthen its ties with the US and the Philippines as he vowed full cooperation for peace and stability in the region.

“In order to secure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, I hope to reaffirm our intention to further strengthen trilateral cooperation and to present the specific way forward through today’s meeting,” he told Marcos Jr. and Biden.

The meeting was attended by their respective Ministers in Foreign Affairs, Defense, Trade and Energy.

Aside from giving their commitment to defense and maritime cooperation, the US and Japan also expressed their full adherence to helping the Philippines advance its efforts to address climate change and further boost the economy to create industries and more jobs for Filipinos.

The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US span 77 years since its formal establishment on July 4, 1946 while the Philippines and Japan celebrated 67 years of normalized relations since July 23, 1956 and strengthened strategic partnership since 2011. - Presidential Communications Office (PCO)