Wide ranging issues concerning Tokyo and Manila are expected to be discussed when Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his counterpart Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. meet Sunday in Davao City at the start of the Japanese official’s three-day official visit.
Kono, who is coming in today upon the invitation of Locsin, is expected to take up the recent ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, a peace effort of the Duterte administration of which Japan is a staunch supporter.
“The visit of Foreign Minister Kono is a testament to the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, and an affirmation of our longstanding bilateral friendship,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said..
“Foreign Minister Kono and Secretary Locsin will meet to hold bilateral discussions on areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, and people-to-people engagement, especially Japan’s support for infrastructure development and for Mindanao in the wake of the ratification of the BOL,” it added.
While in Davao, Kono is scheduled to call on President Duterte and meet with other Cabinet officials.
The Japan Foreign Minister will also grace the inauguration ceremony of the Japanese Consulate General in Davao.
Kono is scheduled to leave Manila on 11 February.
Meanwhile, the DFA on Thursday night confirmed the death of two Filipinos in a fire in Paris.
The confirmation came after the Philippine Embassy in Paris was informed by the Crisis Center of the Paris Prefecture under the French Ministry of Interior that a Filipino couple was among the 10 fatalities in the fire that hit Rue Erlanger.
“The DFA expresses its condolences to the loved ones of a Filipino couple who were among those who perished in the fire that razed an apartment building in Paris on Tuesday,” the DFA said.
The Philippine Embassy in Paris immediately assisted the daughter of the victims after she reported that her parents were missing in the fire.
Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa Lazaro said four other Filipinos staying in the building survived the fire.
Lazaro said the embassy is ready to extend any help necessary to the families of the victims who she declined to identify.
with Elmer Manuel