Philippines-Japan: A friendship of two suns

“Like the Japanese people, we Filipinos place great value in long-term friendships. Indeed, our relations have been described as ‘a friendship of two suns’. I am confident that, as we deepen our engagement, our combined light will shine even more brightly upon our peoples and our region,” President Benigno S. Aquino III said before the members of the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives during a joint session of the National Diet of Japan.

President Aquino expressed Philippines support over Japan’s “ongoing revitalization, as a friend that recognizes that Japan’s economic fortunes are intimately tied to that of ours.”

“Japan is the only country with whom we share a bilateral free trade agreement,” he noted.

“My nation is following with utmost interest and great respect this honorable Diet’s ongoing deliberations, particularly in view of Japan taking a more proactive stance in fulfilling its responsibilities to the international community for the maintenance of peace,” Aquino emphasized.

He also told the Japanese lawmakers that people of the Philippines and Japan both have peaceful characters. “We are both constantly willing to dialogue, bending over backwards to deescalate tensions despite repeatedly getting rebuffed, and still trying to resolve disagreements through peaceful means and internationally recognized norms.”