Japan to provide more aid on Philippine counterterrorism effort: DFA
Japan has promised to extend further assistance to the Philippines in its fight against terrorism, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
In a statement, the DFA said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono held a bilateral meeting on Sunday at the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings in Manila.
Kono expressed Tokyo's intention to provide equipment and other assistance to support the Duterte administration's counterterrorism efforts, the DFA said.
Cayetano thanked Japan for its offer of assistance.
"We would like to express our deepest gratitude for Japan's generosity as well as its commitment in the fight against terrorism," the DFA, quoting Cayetano.
The assistance is in addition to the P100-million aid Japan offered to help those displaced by the ongoing rebellion in Marawi City.
Government troopers have been pursuing the Islamic State-inspired Maute Terror Group, which attacked and started occupying Marawi on May 23, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a letter to Duterte conveying Japan's offer of assistance. The letter was handed to Cayetano last Friday by Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Shigeki Takizaki.
Cayetano assured Japan the Philippine government is exerting "all efforts to expeditiously resolve the conflict in Marawi with due consideration to the safety of civilians and government forces, so that we may focus on rebuilding the city and restoring the lives of its people."
He also told Kono about the creation of a multiagency task force "Bangon Marawi" to undertake the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the city. Celerina Monte/DMS