TOKYO, Japan — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. expressed hope that the business partnerships that the Philippines established with Japan during his five-day official working visit to Tokyo would extend to lifelong friendships, saying this would strengthen the ties between the two countries even more.
Marcos said this at a high-profile luncheon and networking event by premier Japanese business organizations on Friday, Feb. 9.
In his speech, the President expressed optimism that deals made prior to the luncheon would go beyond profit and commerce.
"On top of forging new connections in business, our delegates are also here on a mission to listen, observe, learn, and act on opportunities and new knowledge. I hope that the synergies that we establish with our Japanese partners today will continue to grow," he said.
"Hopefully, beyond profit and commerce, these partnerships will now extend to lifelong friendships which will promote and will encourage the deepening and the strengthening of the ties between Japan and the Philippines," he added.
An "equally diverse" group of 114 businessmen accompanied President Marcos on his trip to Tokyo.
He said that the business-matching event arranged by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for 85 Philippine companies yielded more than 255 meetings with their Japanese counterparts.
Meanwhile, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said that premier Japanese business organizations have expressed strong support and readiness to help the Marcos administration's development agenda.
In a statement, the Palace official said that among those who expressed support for the Philippines' development priorities were representatives from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), SUMITOMO CHEMICAL Co., Ltd., Sompo Holdings, Inc., and Marubeni Corporation.
Tokura Masakazu, Keidanren chairman and SUMITOMO CHEMICAL Co., Ltd. board chairman, said the dramatically changing situation globally has pushed the Philippines and Japan’s ties to be “more important than ever.”
"We are very truly honored to have this opportunity to meet with all of you. The Philippines and Japan share a fundamental value of freedom and democracy,” Tokura said.