TOKYO, Japan — With Philippine flags lining up some streets of Tokyo, the Japanese people welcomed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as he arrived here for his official working visit on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Philippine Airlines Flight PR001 landed at the Haneda Airport at 5:35 p.m., Japan time, officially kicking off his five-day official working visit to Japan.
President Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos are expected to have an Imperial Audience with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in a brisk schedule on Thursday, Feb. 9, that will also have the President meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. It will be their second face-to-face meeting after they met at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2022.
Marcos will have several business meetings from Friday to Saturday. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the President will be devoting much of his time during his visit to attract more Japanese businessmen into investing in the Philippines.
The Japanese Embassy in the Philippine said that Japanese businessmen earlier expressed confidence in investing in the Philippines due to its positive growth domestic product (GDP) projection.
The DFA also disclosed that seven key bilateral agreements and documents are expected to be signed between the Philippines and Japan during Marcos’ visit.
Japan is the only country with which the Philippines has a bilateral free trade agreement called the PH-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
In 2021, Japan was the Philippines' second-largest trading partner, third-largest export market, and second-top source of imports.
Japan has also been the country's biggest bilateral source of active official development assistance (ODA), providing concessional loans to finance critical infrastructure and capacity-building projects, social safety net programs, education, agriculture, science and technology support, and many other high-impact programs.
This is President Marcos’ first trip to Japan since he assumed office in June last year. This is also his ninth overseas trip.
Joining the President on his trip are congressional leaders, Cabinet secretaries, and top business leaders.