Marcos to depart for working visit in Tokyo

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will depart for Tokyo, Japan Wednesday, Feb. 8, for a working visit.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos arrive from Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 21, 2023. (Noel Pabalate)

The working visit, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, "seeks to maximize the full potential of the Philippine-Japan strategic partnership in all its aspects and facilitate closer defense, security, political, economic, and people-to-people ties."

Marcos is expected to sign seven bilateral agreements with Japan ranging from infrastructure, agriculture, information technology, and defense.

He will be accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo, and Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil.

In a press briefing last week, the Foreign Affairs department said the President considers the trip “consequential” since Japan was the first country with which the Philippines forged a strategic partnership.

Marcos also eyes the signing of the “umbrella terms of reference” on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Ministry of Defense of Japan.

The President’s official activities will begin on Feb. 9 with several meetings, including one with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, whom he met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September last year.

Both leaders are expected to “a broad range of bilateral and regional issues to strengthen further the two countries’ cooperation in the second decade of their strategic partnership.”

The First Couple will also be given an Imperial Audience with Japan’s Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

To conclude his visit on Feb. 12, Marcos will meet the Filipino community in Tokyo.