MANILA, Dec 12 (Mabuhay) – The government is spending P15 million for President Benigno S. Aquino III’s bilateral meetings and participation in the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit from December 12 to 14 in Tokyo, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday.
President Aquino left this morning for Tokyo via a chartered flight, along with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Transportation and Communications Secretary Emilio Abaya, Presidential Management Staff head Julia Andrea Abad, Presidential Protocol chief Celia Anna Feria and Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
The expenses cover transportation, accommodation, food and equipment, among other requirements, of the President and his 57-member official delegation.
“The participation of President Aquino in the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit will further strengthen our relationship with Japan, a long-time ally and strategic partner in trade, tourism and labor,” Ochoa said.
According to Ochoa, the President is expected to deliver a statement during the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit scheduled on Saturday at the Akasaka State Guest House.
The Chief Executive is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Prime Minister’s official residence for bilateral discussion on disaster management, economic and maritime cooperation, and progress on the Mindanao peace process.
The President’s schedule also includes a social call by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and a courtesy call by former Japan International Cooperation Agency president Dr. Sadako Ogata, who is now advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a special advisor to JICA President Akihiko Tanaka.
He will also meet with the Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s association of business organizations, representatives from Nidec Sankyo Corp., and a delegation from the Sumotomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
During the visit, President Aquino will witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding for an 850-room retirement community in Cebu City, as well as receive an honorary doctorate law degree from the prestigious Sophia University. (MNS)