News Release

PBBM: PH-US-Japan trilateral meeting a ‘continuing evolution’ of friendship

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. described his trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Kishida Fumio as “a continuing evolution” of relationship between the three countries, downplaying speculations that it was anchored on a “new situation” in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a press briefing with the Philippine media delegation during the Philippines-US-Japan trilateral summit in Washington, President Marcos said the main purpose of the meeting was “to formalize the Philippines, Japan and the US.”

“Now, I think it is important for me to make clear that this, the trilateral agreement, is not something that is only about convenience, or because there is a new situation, I really view it as a continuing evolution of our relationship with both countries, with the US and Japan,” President Marcos said.

“And, this is evidenced by the fact that a large part of the agreement is on economic proposals, and economic assistance and partnership between the three countries. Security and defense, of course, are there. But that is not the main point of the trilateral agreement,” he added.

The President also emphasized that the Philippines, the US and Japan clearly defined in a joint statement the prioritized areas and sectors the three countries will focus on, including the security and defense in the Indo-Pacific region.

“So, we have to characterize it properly na hindi natin sasabihin na anti-kung sino ‘yan, hindi anti ito ng kahit na sino. Ito lang nagkakaisa lang ang tatlong bansa, ang Japan, ang US at saka Pilipinas na magtutulungan,” President Marcos stated.

“Syempre, as I said, kasama ang security at defense diyan dahil walang mangyayari sa ekonomiya, walang mangyayari sa mga plano natin kung magkagulo. So, syempre, nais natin na ‘wag masyadong magkagulo,” he added.

The chief executive stressed the “extremely important” trilateral meeting for the Philippines, the US and Japan as it is “going to change the dynamics” in the Indo-Pacific region, in the ASEAN, and around the South China Sea “for the better.”

He added the trilateral meeting is a major step for the three countries, the wisdom of which will be felt by the Philippines and the Filipino people in the coming years.

“We’ll start to see, we can actually, not even years, within the year, we will start to begin, to see the wisdom of having that trilateral agreement and why it is a good thing to enter into,” President Marcos told the Philippine media delegation.

The President said the Philippines, the US and Japan will greatly benefit from the trilateral meeting. PND