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Business, regional security top agenda on President Aquino’s trip to Japan

MANILA, Philippines – Encouraging more businessmen to come to the Philippines as well as security issues would be President Aquino’s top agenda when he visits Japan next week, a Palace official said.
In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that apart from the bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other high-ranking Japanese officials including the Emperor, President Aquino is scheduled to meet Japanese businessmen.
“The President has a long line of meetings with captains of industry of either Japanese businessmen, who already have investments here in the Philippines, and those who are… because of our economy now, are looking to expand or are looking to put in more investments in the country,” Valte said during the interview.
“Every time the President goes out, he always makes it a point as much as possible to touch base with the captains of industry to really tell them what has been happening to country, and so far, you see that this is bearing fruit.”
The foreign direct investments are up and the number of foreign businesses that come to the Philippines are also increasing, she noted. Those already operating in the country have also shown quick expansions of their operations, she added.
With more than a year in office, the president will continue to push for the business agenda whenever he travels overseas, she added.
Security issue is also a top agenda for the President, Valte said. This is in the midsts of the ongoing reclamation activities of China in the West Philippine Sea.
Japan also has conflicting claims with China in the East Sea.
“The reclamation activity is a current issue, and it’s a shared issue between our country and as well as one of our strategic partners, which is Japan—mapag-uusapan at mapag-uusapan; ngunit hindi natin masasabi kung saan pupunta ang usapan,” Valte said.
Aside from China and Philippines, other claimants in the contested territory include Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.