Palace confident Prince Naruhito's ascending Japanese throne to augur well for PH-Japan ties
Malacanang expressed optimism on Monday that Crown Prince Naruhito's ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne as new Japanese emperor would bode well on the ties between the Philippines and Japan.
This as Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace feels "melancholic" about the abdication of Emperor Akihito, "who is considered a good friend of the Philippines."
The Emperor will abdicate Tuesday after reigning for 30 years under the Heisei Era. On the following day, Prince Naruhito will ascend to the throne under the new Reiwa Era.
"We remain confident that the assumption of Crown Prince Naruhito would augur well for Philippines-Japan relations," Panelo said.
"We hope to build the 'golden age' for the Philippines-Japan strategic partnership during the reign of the new Emperor," he added.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his visit in Manila in January 2017, vowed $9 billion investment and aid package for the Philippines for five years, the largest amount the Japanese government has committed for a single country, Panelo noted.
Meanwhile, Panelo acknowledged the Palace was melancholic about the Emperor's abdication.
"But he has made a decision and we can only respect it and wish him well with whatever awaits him after he leaves the throne," he said.
He recalled how President Rodrigo Duterte, along with long-time partner Cielito "Honeylet Avancena, was "humbled and pleased" when he met the Emperor and Empress Michiko on Oct. 31, 2017, during his second trip to Japan.
"As we recall, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was humbled and pleased by the singular honor of meeting His Majesty at the Imperial Palace two years ago where he personally extended his gratitude for the kindness and compassion of the Emperor, who together with his wife, Empress Michiko, visited the Philippines in 2016 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the normalization of Philippine-Japan diplomatic relations," the spokesman said.
Naruhito's formal enthronement is scheduled in October when foreign dignitaries are expected to be invited. Celerina Monte/DMS