Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Congratulatory Message to the Philippines for the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN)


To the people of the Philippines,

Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN this year. The fact that the people of ASEAN including the Philippines have overcome various differences while developing into a Community and establishing its current position in the international community is indeed a historic achievement. We Japanese whom deepened friendship and cooperation in wide range of fields with the people of ASEAN to date share both the hardship and the joy of the past 50 years.

As a friend of ASEAN, I have visited all of the ASEAN countries. I have visited the Philippines a number of times. Most recently, I visited Manila and President Duterte’s hometown of Davao in January this year, and the warm welcome I received left a huge impression on me.
I have also welcomed a large number of guests from the Philippines, including President Duterte, and the friendship between our two countries has been deepening.

This year the Philippines serves as the chair of ASEAN. It will be important for ASEAN to strengthen its unity and centrality, and Japan intends to provide the Philippines with support on all fronts to ensure the success of the upcoming ASEAN-related meetings and East Asia Summit.

Japan and ASEAN have now become indispensable “Strategic Partner” for peace and prosperity. I am convinced that Japan-ASEAN relations in the next 50 years would be bright if we could continue to cooperate while firmly upholding common values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Let’s forge the future of Asia and the world together hand in hand.

Shinzo Abe,
 Prime Minister of Japan