Japan to provide more aid for war-torn Marawi
Japanese House of Representative member Katsuyuki Kawai, former special assistant of Prime Minister Abe, called on Wednesday to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Kawai, who is set to visit to Marawi City on Thursday, said Japan is ready to extend additional assistance for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Earlier, Japan provided heavy equipment and other form of grants for the war-torn city in Mindanao.
Marawi has been devastated due to five-month battle between the government troops and the Maute-ISIS terrorists last year.
During the courtesy call, Kawai said he conveyed to Duterte Abe's message regarding the removal of a statue depicting a comfort woman along Roxas Boulevard in Manila but he refused to elaborate.
Last April, the Duterte administration removed the comfort woman monument despite opposition from some quarters, including those who pushed for its erection in December last year.
Initially, Duterte even defended the construction of the statue, saying it was part of free expression.
But apparently due to Japanese government's pressure, the Duterte administration heeded and allowed the removal of the statue.
Kawai, also the Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs to the President of Liberal Democratic Party, in an interview with reporters after his courtesy call, welcomed the removal of the monument. He said he appreciates it.
Hundreds of Filipino women came out decades ago and claimed that they became sex slaves or the so-called comfort women of the Japanese soldiers in the Philippines during World War II.
Kawai said Abe wants to meet with Duterte at the sidelines of either the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Papua New Guinea or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders' Summit in Singapore next month. Celerina Monte/DMS