Photo from the Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have vowed to work together to address security and economic issues in the Philippines and Japan, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Marcos Jr. and Kishida’s met on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the two “reaffirmed their commitment to reinforce ties and strengthen cooperation in response to the challenges and opportunities in the regional security and economic landscape.”

“The two countries’ strategic partnership, spanning 11 years now, witnessed tremendous growth and deepened cooperation in addressing their security and defense priorities, particularly in maritime security, maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement capacities and peace in Mindanao,” she said in a statement.

During the meeting, Marcos Jr. also shared his administration’s priorities, particularly in agriculture, energy and infrastructure.

“Both sides exchanged views on bilateral, regional, and international concerns. PM Kishida reiterated Japan’s commitment to supporting the Philippines’ economic development to become an upper middle-income country,” Cruz-Angeles said.

During the 77th UNGA session, Marcos Jr. said the Philippines was on track to reach upper middle-income status by 2023.

The two leaders also expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation in the coming years would lead to better peace in the Southeast Asian region, Cruz-Angeles said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro