: Marcos Jr. discusses deeper ties during phone call with Japan PM Kishida

By Christia Marie Ramos |

MANILA, Philippines — Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a 15-minute phone call on Friday, vowing to enhance the ties between the two countries to “another height” and eyeing an in-person meeting “as early as possible.”

In a phone call, Kishida “expressed his wish to take the bilateral Strategic Partnership to yet another height” under the incoming administration, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said in a statement.

“At the outset, Prime Minister Kishida once again communicated the message of congratulations to President-elect Marcos on his victory in the presidential election, and expressed his wish to take the bilateral Strategic Partnership to yet another height with President-elect Marcos, with whom Prime Minister Kishida shares the birth year in the following year of the normalization of the Japan-Philippines diplomatic relations,” the embassy said.

Kishida, according to the embassy, also expressed his intent to “continue cooperation on the economic front such as infrastructure development including railways and Subic Bay development, as well as in the security and coast guard law enforcement fields, through the High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation and the Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”), among others.”

Marcos, for his part, stressed the importance of the relations between the Philippines and Japan and “communicated his intention to deepen cooperation with Prime Minister Kishida in a wide range of areas,” the embassy said.

They also concurred on coordinating bilaterally toward further strengthening ties between the two countries.

“The two leaders also exchanged views on regional affairs. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his wish for future close coordination with President-elect Marcos for the realization of a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific,’ and the two leaders concurred on future coordination to realize regional peace and prosperity,” the embassy further said.

“The two leaders concurred on holding an in-person meeting as early as possible and deepening the discussion going forward,” it added.

Congress has yet to proclaim a new president and vice president, but the Commission on Elections’ partial and unofficial count showed Marcos leading the presidential race with over 31 million votes.