Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will reportedly make an announcement regarding an aid package meant for the Philippines supposedly worth $8.66 billion or 1 trillion Yen, according to a report made by Nikkei.
The package is the highest amount Japan has ever given to a single country and will be spread out over a period of 5 years.
The package aims to aid in the development of infrastructure, particularly public transportation and electrical power systems meant for the Philippines’ more remote cities away from the metro.
Following in China’s footsteps, the Japanese government will also help fund the creation of new drug rehabilitation facilities to aid in President Duterte’s war on drugs. Ironically, President Duterte himself does not believe that rehabilitation works and is more content to kill the drug personalities in the country.
A panel composed of both Japanese and Filipino government officials will be created to oversee the projects.
Prime Minister Abe chose the Philippines as his first foreign state visit for 2017 as a way to reinforce the bond between the two countries. His decision was perhaps influenced by President Duterte’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chairmanship.
Abe’s willingness to collaborate with and send aid to the Philippines could be his way of attempting to curb Chinese influence in the country. President Duterte’s seemingly comfortable alliance with Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen by Abe as problematic, as the Japanese Prime Minister has repeatedly criticized the Chinese government.
Abe’s attempt to get in the good graces of the Philippine President is evident in his decision to pay Davao, Duterte’s hometown and bailiwick, a visit. Abe is the first foreign leader to visit the Philippines under Duterte’s administration.
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