By Zaldy De Layola

CLOSER TIES. House of Representatives, delegates led by Speaker Martin Romualdez and their Japanese counterparts, led by Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians’ Friendship League (JPPFL) Chairman Hiroshi Moriyama, meet at the Japan’s parliamentary building in Tokyo on June 18, 2024. Both legislative bodies renewed commitment to foster closer ties to open more opportunities. (Courtesy of Office of the Speaker)

MANILA – Both the Philippines and Japan legislative bodies have renewed their commitment to fostering closer relations and cooperation through the strengthening of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship League (JPPFL).

“By working together, we can create more opportunities for trade, investment and technological exchange, driving economic growth and development for both the Philippines and Japan. Such cooperation is vital for achieving our shared goal of prosperity and stability,” House Speaker Martin Romualdez said in a news release on Thursday.

As a symbol of the renewed pledge, the House of Representatives handed over its counterparts a copy of the chamber’s Resolution 94 during a friendship caucus in Tokyo last Tuesday.

The resolution seeks to strengthen the mutual cooperation between the two countries through the JPPFL and designated the friendship league’s officers and members.

“As we hand over this resolution to our Japanese counterparts in the JPPFL, may it symbolize our unwavering commitment to enhancing the parliamentary relations and cooperation between the legislative bodies of the Philippines and Japan,” Romualdez said.

The Philippine delegation met with the Japanese officers and members of the JPPFL, all members of the Japanese House of Representatives, which include its JPPFL chairman, Hon. Moriyama Hiroshi, vice-chair Okuno Shinsuke, director-general Ryu Hirofumi, secretary-general Otsuka Taku, deputy secretary-general Aoyama Yamato, and executive directors Inoguchi Kuniko, Tajima Kaname, Miyauchi Hideki, and Matsukawa Rui.

Representing the JPPFL Philippines are Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Deputy Speaker David Suarez, Committee on Appropriations Chairman Zaldy Co, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, House Secretary-General Reginald Velasco, House Sergeant-at-Arms Napoleon Taas and other House officials.

The House delegation was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia Albano.

In July last year, the House of Representatives adopted Resolution No. 94 formally establishing the JPPFL in the Philippines, citing the long history of friendship between the Philippines and Japan.

“The Philippines and Japan have a history of close bilateral relations spanning more than 67 years now. And in those long years, Japan has always been a close ally in almost every facet of international relations, especially in the areas of trade and economy,” Romualdez said.

On July 23, 1956, the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Japan-Philippines Reparations Agreement were enforced, normalizing the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“In 1971, the Philippines-Japan Society was established which positively contributed to the strong bilateral Philippines-Japan relations that now persist at various levels of great importance – business and economics, academic, technical training, cultural and interpersonal exchange,” the resolution read.

On Nov. 13, 1987, the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution No. 14, entitled “Resolution Organizing the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship Society,” strengthening the inter-parliamentary dialogue and enhancing beneficial ties between the House of Representatives of both the Republic of the Philippines and Japan, it added.

Romualdez, in handing over a copy of the resolution to Japanese officers and members of the JPPF, said he looks forward to enhanced cooperation between Japan and the Philippines, especially in the area of defense and security. (PNA)