Philippine President Speaks about Japan-Philippines Relationship

July 29, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. ally / ˈæl aɪ / (n.) – a person or group that is committed to help another party in any way
Example: The country has several allies.

2. bilateral / baɪˈlæt ər əl / (adj.) – referring to anything that involves two parties
Example: The two countries agreed on a bilateral trade.

3. generous / ˈdʒɛn ər əs / (adj.) – giving more than what is needed
Example: The government is generous in providing aid to the poor.

4. dispute / dɪˈspyut / (n.) – a disagreement between two or more parties
Example: There has been an ongoing dispute between the two countries.

5. diplomatic / ˌdɪp ləˈmæt ɪk / (adj.) – concerning the ways of keeping the good relations of governments or countries
Example: The government wants to improve its diplomatic relations with its allies.


Read the text below.
During his state visit in Japan, Philippine President Benigno Aquino [ah-KEE-noh] III spoke about the Japan-Philippines relations.

President Aquino delivered the speech during the Nikkei 21st International Conference on the Future of Asia held on June 3, 2015 at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo. During his speech, President Aquino emphasized how Japan has become one of the Philippines’ largest trading partners and loyal allies.

The Philippine president reported that in 2014, the two countries had bilateral trade that amounted to $19.1 billion. The president also mentioned how a number of Japanese companies and brands have already become a part of the lives of Filipinos. Among these brands are Uniqlo, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Honda.

In his speech, President Aquino shared that Japan has been very generous, especially when it comes to helping improve the Philippines’ transportation system and environmental initiatives. Japan also lends the Philippines a helping hand in promoting peace in Mindanao [min-duh-NOU]. President Aquino also thanked Japan for its continuous support as the Philippines faces territorial dispute with China.

Japan and the Philippines officially became diplomatic allies in 1956. Since then, Japan has been supporting the Philippines by granting the Official Development Assistance (ODA). Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) has also been helping the Philippines in times of natural disasters.

Currently, the two countries have plans to improve their security partnership. But aside from this, Japan and the Philippines also have a bilateral cooperation that focuses on a wide range of issues concerning trade and economic, socio-cultural and labor matters.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think Japan and the Philippines have maintained strong ties?
·         How can the relationship between the two countries be strengthened further?

Discussion B

·         What do you think makes a country a good ally?
·         If you could choose allies for your country, what countries would you consider? Please explain your answer.

July 29, 2015