Business meetings predominate President Aquino’s four-day trip to Japan

TOKYO, Japan, June 2 (PNA) — A series of meetings with top executives of various Japanese conglomerates and trade organizations makes up the majority of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s official itinerary for his four-day state visit here.

Upon his arrival on Tuesday, President Aquino will have separate meetings with Chairmen Senji Miyake, Teruo Asada, and Tadashi Yanai of Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd., Marubeni, and Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. (Uniqlo), respectively at the Imperial Hotel.

He will then witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Business Promotion Cooperation by officials of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

The President will cap off his first day of activities with the traditional meeting with the Filipino community, where he will have the opportunity to update his countrymen on the latest political and economic developments in the Philippines.

On Wednesday, President Aquino will be at the Imperial Palace for the official welcome ceremony, to be led by the Japanese Imperial Family. He will also pay a state call on Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

He will then head to the Okura Hotel to meet with Nikkei Inc. Chairman Tsuneo Kita, and President and Chief Executive Officer Naotoshi Okada, to be followed by a one-on-one interview with Nikkei’s Manila bureau chief, Minoru Satake.

Afterwards, President Aquino will keynote a special session of Nikkei’s 21st International Conference on the Future of Asia, and address the joint session of the National Diet of Japan.

He will likewise meet with Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, officials of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League, and head of the Democratic Party of Japan Katsuya Okada.

In the evening, President Aquino will head back to the Imperial Palace to attend the state banquet to be hosted in his honor by Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

On Thursday, President Aquino will deliver a speech at the Philippine Investment Forum after a meet-and-greet with its organizers, who include members from JETRO, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the ASEAN Japan Center, and the Philippine Society of Japan at the Hotel New Otani.

He will also meet with members of two business clusters, namely the Office Equipment, Electronics and Medical Devices, and Infrastructure, and have lunch with the heads of various Japanese associations.

President Aquino will then receive Akihiro Tanaka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and witness the signing of the contract on the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard, by representatives of the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Japan Marine United Corporation.

Afterwards, the summit meeting between President Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be held at the Akasaka State Guest House, where they are expected to exchange views on recent developments in the region.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez said in a recent interview that the two leaders’ discussion would center on concerns regarding maritime disputes in the South China Sea, among other bilateral issues.

President Aquino will wrap up his engagements here on Friday with a farewell call on Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace and a press event with the Japan National Press Club.

He is scheduled to depart Tokyo for Manila at about 2:30 p.m. (Japanese time) and will arrive in Manila at about 5:20 p.m. (Philippine time). (PNA)