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Genalyn Kabiling

Japanese firm to import $220-M bananas yearly

Tokyo, Japan — A leading Japanese fruit distribution company is keen on importing an additional $220 million worth of bananas from the Philippines yearly starting next year. The agreement tapping Filipino farmers and rebel-returnees in Mindanao to supply 20 million boxes of bananas to Farmind Corporation will be forged during President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo. The President arrived in Japan on Tuesday for a three-day official visit to Japan to enhance the country’s economic and defense relations with the strategic partner in the region. “We will sign a MOU (memorandum of understanding) tomorrow (Wednesday) with your government and that to assist this rebel returnees, providing them opportunities to come to this market,” Tatsuo Horiuchi, Farmind President and CEO, said in a media interview here on Tuesday. “We’re taking about 20 million boxes as a …

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Duterte ‘finds more comfort in Japan’

Japan is a generous ally of the Philippines but the United States has been a bully that insults the Filipino people, President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday night, October 25. As he started his three-day official visit to Tokyo, the president profusely thanked Japan for its generosity to the Philippines, citing its $6 billion worth of development projects in the country. “Mas komportable ako sa Japan (I feel more comfortable in Japan)... Japan is so kind to us,” the president said in his remarks at the meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel. “Japan talaga ang pinakamalaking tulong sa atin (Japan was really our biggest helping hand),” he said, citing he multi-billion-dollar roads and other Philippine projects funded by Japan. The president, however, unleashed another profanity-laced attack against the United States for their …

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Expert: Japan cautious on raising drug deaths with Duterte

Japan is likely to express a “general concern” over the drug-related killings in the Philippines but would be wary against being perceived as meddling with domestic affairs, according to a Japanese political analyst. Ken Jimbo, a policy management professor at Keio University, said if journalists ask the Japanese government about the drug deaths in the Philippines, Japanese officials would likely state a “general concern over the issues.” But Jimbo said Japan does not want to “intervene” as it recognizes the Philippines government’s efforts to address the drug menace and how majority of the Filipino people support such campaign. “We will, I think, take cautious steps to not to be perceived it as intervention of the administration of what Filipino government has been doing,” said Jimbo, also a senior research fellow at The Canon Institute for …

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3 Japanese firms bare PH investment plans

Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi met with top executives of three Japanese companies to tackle their proposed business plans in the country. “They see that our president really means what he says. They believe that the president would move the country forward so by making the reforms that is necessary to encourage them to relocate such as eliminating red tape, corruption,” Cusi said in a media interview in Tokyo. Japan’s Osaka Gas is looking into possible establishment of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation project somewhere in Luzon and Mindanao, according to Cusi. The project would cost “billions of dollars,” he added. Another Japanese firm, Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing, is also considering the construction of a wire road manufacturing plant in the Philippines. The energy department has also …

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Duterte’s Japan itinerary

President Rodrigo Duterte will embark on a three-day visit to Japan on Tuesday, October 25, highlighted by meetings with Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and business leaders. Tuesday, October 25 The president’s first activity on Tuesday is a meeting with hundreds of members of the Filipino community at the  Palace Hotel Tokyo. There are now more than 400,000 Filipinos working and living in Japan. Wednesday, October 26 Duterte’s busiest day is Wednesday, when all major meetings with government and business leaders have been lined up. The president is expected to meet with officers of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League at the Prince Tower Tokyo, followed by the signing ceremony of the potential investments. He is also expected to make a pitch for investments before Japanese businessmen afterwards. In the afternoon, Duterte will hold a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Abe to discuss bilateral and regional …

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Military, dev’t, investment deals expected from Duterte’s Japan visit

Military planes, development assistance and lucrative investments are among the big-ticket items President Rodrigo Duterte may seek to finalize and obtain as he moves to enhance the country’s economic and defense alliance with Japan this week. The president will travel to Tokyo on Tuesday, October 25, to reaffirm bilateral ties and scale up strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, a week after he cozied up with Japan’s regional rival China. The state visit, which will involve meetings with Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and business leaders, coincides with the 60th anniversary of establishment of Philippines–Japan diplomatic relations. Philippine Consul General to Japan, Marian Jocelyn Ignacio, said one of the highlights of the president’s trip is the planned lease of military planes from Japan, which could reportedly be used to safeguard the country’s claims in the disputed South China Sea. “There’s a lot …

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Duterte details Scarborough Shoal compromise

Filipinos may soon regain access to the traditional fishing grounds in the disputed South China Sea but with certain limitations following his meeting with the leaders of China, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Sunday, October 23. The president shared the imminent breakthrough about the fishing rights of Filipino fishermen even as the Philippines and China refused to back down on their respective territorial claims in the South China Sea. “Wala ho kaming pinag-usapang armas, wala ho kaming pinag-usapang giyera-giyera o maglagay ng... Pinag-usapan namin kung papaano tayo magtulungan (We did not discuss about arms, we did not discuss war... What we tackled was how our countries can work together),” Duterte said during a visit to the storm-hit Tuguegarao, Cagayan. “We’ll just wait for a few more days. Baka makabalik na tayo doon sa Scarborough …

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Duterte to copy Marcos-era agri programs

The government intends to use a huge portion of the $16 billion (approximately P750 billion) worth of financial aid extended by China to implement Marcos-inspired agriculture and fisheries programs. President Rodrigo Duterte said he plans to copy the “Masagana 99” and “Biyayang Dagat” programs implemented during the term of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in promoting the welfare of the country’s farmers and fishermen. The programs, Duterte said, would include financial assistance, farm equipment upgrade and farm inputs distribution. “Gusto ko lang kunin iyong idea ni Marcos. Malayo na iyon, iyong Biyayang Dagat pati Masagana 99. Ibalik ko iyon. Kokopyahin ko (I would like to pick up Marcos’ idea. Those had gone far, the Biyayang Dagat and Masagana 99. I would like to reintroduce those, I will copy those),” he said during a …

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Duterte decries US arrogance, hypocrisy

He may not be ready to totally call it quits yet with the United States but President Rodrigo Duterte is certainly exasperated with the major western ally that seems to be more foe, less friend to the Philippines. The President recently admitted he could no longer “swallow” the arrogance and hypocrisy of the United States, as well as its tendency to put down its friends like the Philippines. “I have my announced my departure really from the strict foreign policy that the United States would want us to follow,” the President said during a business forum while on a visit to Beijing last week. “I cannot anymore swallow what the Americans are dishing out for all of us. They control our economy, they will tell us what country to defeat,” he said, shortly …

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President back from China with $24-B investments and credit

Beijing, China – The Philippines has secured around $24 billion worth of investments and credit facilities to cap President Duterte’s  four-day state visit in China. The influx of Chinese investments to the Philippines in renewable energy, transportation, and manufacturing, among others, is expected to generate more than two million jobs in the next five years, according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. In an interview in Beijing, a few hours before the President flew back to the country,  Lopez said around $15 billion involves private business deals between Filipino and Chinese firms while $9 billion covers credit facilities to be made available for development projects and other businesses. The investments “cut across different industries – agriculture, renewable energy, tourism, food, manufacturing, telecommunications, infrastructure,” Secretary Lopez said. During the visit, President Duterte and Chinese President Xi …

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