Philippines, Japan strengthen parliamentary ties through friendship caucus

Legislative bodies of both the Philippines and Japan have again renewed their commitment to fostering closer parliamentary relations and cooperation through the strengthening of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship League (JPPFL).

As a symbol of this renewed commitment, members of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez handed over to their counterparts a copy of the chamber’s Resolution No. 94, originally House Resolution (HR) No. 1146, that seeks to strengthen the mutual cooperation between the two countries through the JPPFL and designated the friendship league’s officers and members.

“As we hand over this resolution to our Japanese counterparts in the JPPFL, may it symbolize our unwavering commitment to enhancing the parliamentary relations and cooperation between the legislative bodies of the Philippines and Japan,” Speaker Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives, declared.

“This significant gesture strengthens not only our parliamentary ties but also the general relations between our two great nations. By committing to closer collaboration, we pave the way for greater mutual cooperation in various critical areas that benefit both our countries,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Speaker Romualdez and the Philippine delegation met with the Japanese officers and members of the JPPFL, all members of the Japanese House of Representatives, which include its JPPFL chairman, Hon. Moriyama Hiroshi, vice-chair Okuno Shinsuke, director-general Ryu Hirofumi, secretary-general Otsuka Taku, deputy secretary-general Aoyama Yamato, and executive directors Inoguchi Kuniko, Tajima Kaname, Miyauchi Hideki, and Matsukawa Rui.

Representing the JPPFL Philippines are Speaker Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr., Deputy Speaker David “Jay-jay” Suarez, Committee on Appropriations Chairman Zaldy Co, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, House Secretary-General Reginald “Reggie” S. Velasco, House Sergeant-at-Arms retired PMGEN Napoleon C. Taas and other House officials. The House delegation was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia Albano.

“By working together, we can create more opportunities for trade, investment and technological exchange, driving economic growth and development for both the Philippines and Japan. Such cooperation is vital for achieving our shared goal of prosperity and stability,” Speaker Romualdez said.

In July last year, the House of Representatives adopted Resolution No. 94 formally establishing the JPPFL in the Philippines, citing the long history of friendship between the Philippines and Japan.

“The Philippines and Japan have a history of close bilateral relations spanning more than 67 years now. And in those long years, Japan has always been a close ally in almost every facet of international relations, especially in the areas of trade and economy,” Speaker Romualdez said.

The resolution explained that on July 23, 1956, the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan-Philippines Reparations Agreement were enforced, normalizing the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“In 1971, the Philippines-Japan Society was established which positively contributed to the strong bilateral Philippines-Japan relations that now persist at various levels of great importance – business and economics, academic, technical training, cultural and interpersonal exchange,” the resolution read.

“On November 13, 1987, the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution No. 14, entitled ‘Resolution Organizing the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship Society,’ strengthening the inter-parliamentary dialogue and enhancing beneficial ties between the House of Representatives of both the Republic of the Philippines and Japan,” it added.

Speaker Romualdez, in handing over a copy of the resolution to Japanese officers and members of the JPPFL said he looks forward to enhanced cooperation between Japan and the Philippines, especially in the area of defense and security.

“Our enhanced parliamentary relations foster closer collaboration in addressing regional security challenges and promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Joint initiatives and information sharing in defense and security matters will strengthen our collective capabilities and contribute to a safer environment for our peoples,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“The handing over of this resolution to the JPPFL is proof of our shared commitment to deepening our bilateral ties. It signifies our mutual desire to work together towards common goals and to support each other in our respective national aspirations,” he stated.

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