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US, Japan reiterate strong ties with the Philippines

US, Japan reiterate strong ties with the Philippines

US and Japan reaffirm strong ties with the Philippines on Araw ng Kagitingan. Japan expressed gratitude and hope for further cooperation, while the US recognized the sacrifice of veterans and pledged continued commitment as a strong ally and friend. Photo: Office of the President/PIA

The United States and Japan have reiterated their strong ties with the Philippines in separate statements commemorating the country's 81st Araw ng Kagitingan, or Day of Valor. 

Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko expressed his condolences to the victims of war and paid tribute to the veterans who contributed to the peace and security being enjoyed by everyone today. He also expressed Japan's regret for joining the war and thanked Filipinos for their kindness and forgiveness.

Kazuhiko cited strengthening the Philippines-Japan Strategic Partnership since its establishment in 2011, which has led to bilateral cooperation in areas such as the economy, security, and people-to-people exchange.  

He also emphasized Japan's continued support for the Philippines in times of crisis or prosperity and expressed hope for further cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, United States Embassy Chargé d' Affaires Ad Interim Heather Variava recognized the sacrifice of veterans and reiterated the embassy's commitment to honoring their bravery. 

She mentioned the embassy's collaboration with the Department of National Defense and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office in recognizing the courage of veterans through the awarding of the US Congressional Gold Medal.

Variava explained that the medal is one of the highest honors given to individuals who have helped shape the history of America. She emphasized that the sacrifice and bravery of Filipino veterans during World War II helped shape the history of the Philippines and the United States.

In her statement, Variava pledged respect for the sacrifice and duty of Filipino and American soldiers who left a legacy for all. She also affirmed the United States' commitment as a strong ally and friend of the Philippines that continues to unite and inspire future generations.

On the other hand, Variava also announced that around 12,000 American troops are expected to visit the Philippines this month to participate in the largest Balikatan Exercises with Filipino soldiers. The theme for this year's Araw ng Kagitingan is "Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino [Valor of Veterans, Foundation of United Filipinos]." —iTacloban (Source: PIA)

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