US, Japan reiterate commitment as Philippines’ strategic partners

Known to be World War II opposing forces, United States and Japan express commitment to stand with Philippines in preserving peace and stability in the region as strategic partners. US Ambassador Philip Goldberg and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa – during the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan, April 9 at Mt. Samat shrine in Bataan – both reminisced how former enemies turned into strategic partners.

“We all remember and never forget what happened here. Defeated in World War II, Japan has built up a free and democratic nation that upholds human rights and respects the rule of law,” the Japanese Ambassador said. “Seventy years ago, we were enemies. Now, we are friends, close friends. May this friendship be forever.”

“Our cooperation in maritime security issues based upon the rule of law is a good example. Just this January, two defense ministers signed a memorandum of defense cooperation and exchange in Tokyo,” Ambassador Ishikawa said.

While Ambassador Goldberg said “make no mistake, as President Obama said last year during his visit to Manila, ‘our commitment to the Philippines under our Mutual Defense Treaty is ironclad.’ In good times and bad, we stand together, shoulder to shoulder.”

“Yesterday’s enemies are today’s allies and strategic partners—yet another legacy of the sacrifice and heroism of US and Filipino soldiers so long ago,” the American top diplomat noted.