Japan not competing with China in extending aid to Philippines, Aso says
Japan is not competing with China in extending financial aid to the Philippines, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday.
"We're not competing with any other country," the finance chief said in a press conference on the sidelines of the 51st Asian Development Bank Annual Meeting in Mandaluyong City.
Japan and China have been extending huge official development assistance to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to the Department of Finance, aid and investment pledges from Japan under the current government reached to $1.2 billion, while $7.3 billion from China.
Since he assumed office in June 2016, Duterte visited Japan twice, while last month, he made his third visit to China.
Aso hailed the Philippine economy under the Duterte administration, citing the "6-7 percent" economic growth rate of the country.
He said the Philippine economy is "doing very well."
He reiterated his government's readiness to support the Duterte administration.
Aso also cited the "good chemistry" between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Duterte.
During Abe's visit in the Philippines in January 2017, Duterte even invited the prime minister and his wife to his home in Davao City.
Duterte considers Japan as "our friend closer than a brother." Celerina Monte/DMS