President Duterte welcomes Papal Nuncio and Japanese ambassador
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed Archbishop Charles John Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines and Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, during the presentation of credentials Monday afternoon in Malacañang.
In a statement, the Office of the President said President Duterte noted that the Philippines and the Holy See will commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations next year, which coincides with the 500th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines.
The President looked forward to working closely with the Holy See to further advance shared advocacies of migrants’ protection and climate action. The statement revealed President Duterte welcomed the Holy See’s call for all countries to “protect the dignity of human life”, including of migrants’ regardless of status, and Pope Francis’ declaration of a global climate emergency.
The Filipino leader thanked the Pope for the expression of solidarity and prayers for the Filipino people affected by Typhoon Ulysses.
Archbishop Charles Brown conveyed the “warm personal greetings” of His Holiness Pope Francis to the President and the Filipino people. He also expressed his commitment to strengthen and deepen the high-level cooperation between the Holy See and the Philippines, especially through “the mutual commitment to the common good and the promotion of the spiritual and moral values which provide each society with its solid foundation.”
Meanwhile, President Duterte reaffirmed the Philippines’ bilateral ties with Japan as he received Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko who presented his credentials.
The President said the Philippines considers Japan a friend closer than a brother, occupying a singular and special place in the country’s foreign relations as a Strategic Partner and one of the most important partners in trade, investments and development cooperation.
He thanked Japan for its assistance to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response, support for the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program, and development assistance to restive Mindanao.
Ambassador Kazuhiko relayed the best wishes of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan to the President and sympathy to all Filipinos affected by COVID-19.
He said the Philippines and Japan enjoy the “golden age” in the diplomatic relations and added he is committed to further promote the Philippines-Japan Strategic Partnership, increase trade and investments and enhance cooperation in infrastructure development, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, health, Mindanao peace process and peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
He also lauded the positive developments in the Philippines under the leadership of President Duterte. (Melo M. Acuña)
Archbishop Charles John Brown signing the Malacanang Guestbook on his arrival at the Presidential Palace Monday afternoon. (Screen grab from PCOO Live Coverage/Melo M. Acuna)