MANILA – The Philippines understands the decision of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to postpone his plan to visit Philippines and India on a trip originally set for the end of the month.
Reports showed that Suga decided to postpone his visit to the Philippines and India to focus on handling a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in his country.
“The Office of the President (OP) understands the decision of the Office of the Prime Minister to postpone the planned Official Visit of His Excellency Suga Yoshihide to the Philippines,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Roque said the OP understands Suga’s decision, since beating Covid-19 is a priority shared by other countries.
“Defeating the Covid-19 pandemic is high on both the Philippines and Japan’s agenda and remains a key point of cooperation. The decision to postpone a planned official visit based on this ground, therefore, deserves support,” he added.
He, however, assured that ties between the Philippines and Japan would remain strong despite the postponed visit.
“The strategic partnership and broad cooperation between the Philippines and Japan will continue to strengthen even as we jointly and individually work to address the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Palace earlier said the Duterte administration looked forward to working with Suga to further boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
In December 2020, Duterte and Suga reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthen the Philippines-Japan relation in a 25-minute telephone conversation.
Duterte had visited Japan four times since he assumed the presidency in 2016.
Suga was elected as the country’s new prime minister in September 2020 after the resignation of his predecessor Shinzo Abe due to health reasons.
His term in office will continue until Japan’s general elections in September 2021. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com