Ochoa: President Aquino’s working visit to Japan costs P20 million

The government is spending around P20 million for President Benigno Aquino III’s three-day working visit to Japan that is expected to bring in at least $1 billion in fresh investments and more than 9 billion yen in official development assistance.

According to Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr., the President and his 63-member delegation will fly to Japan on the invitation of the Japanese government Sunday morning via a special commercial flight.

Among the members of the Chief Executive’s official delegation are Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Energy Secretary Rene Almendras.

“In this trip, our President wishes to further advance our strategic cooperation with Japan, our friend for more than half a century now,” Ochoa said. “We always look forward to stronger bilateral relations with one of our important partners in the region.”

In Japan, President Aquino will pay a state call on His Majesty Emperor Akihito and meet with Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yoshihiko Noda, to discuss a wide array of issues to further advance the two countries’ strategic partnership.

Other highlights of the President’s official working visit are the keynote speech at the Philippine Economic Forum and meetings with major business groups, among them Keidanren, Japan Business Federation, Japan-Tokyo Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Japan Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee.

The Chief Executive will also witness the signing of several memoranda of agreement on new investment projects in energy, mining, property development, automotive, ship-building and infrastructure development, among others, under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. Top officials of big Japanese companies are also scheduled to meet with the President.

President Aquino is also set to meet the Filipino community in Tokyo and in Miyagi, one of the prefectures in northeastern Japan hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

According to Ochoa, the P20-million budget covers expenses for the special commercial flight, hotel accommodations, food, transportation, and telecommunications and equipment requirements.

President Aquino is set to return on September 28. ###

Reference: Katherine G. Adraneda / Tel. No. 733-7472