UNITED NATIONS— Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met President Ferdinand Marcos Jr of the Philippines on Wednesday and said he wanted to strengthen cooperation in priority areas for the Filipino leader, such as agriculture, energy, health and infrastructure, a Japanese spokesperson said.
The leaders held a working lunch on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in News York.
“The two leaders concurred on continuing to convene the High-Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation in order to elevate the bilateral cooperation to a higher level,” Japanese Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Hikariko Ono told reporters.
Kishida also said in the meeting that “the international community needs to oppose unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force in the East and South China Sea, as well as economic coercion,” the spokesperson said in apparent reference Chinese activity regularly criticized by Japan.
Japan said after Marcos was elected in May it wanted to continue cooperation in infrastructure development, including railways, the Subic Bay development, as well as in security and coast guard law enforcement.
—Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Chris Gallagher; editing by Grant McCool