GMA off to ASEAN-Japan Summit; Meeting Will Commemorate 30 Years of Economic & Security Relations
Byline: GENALYN D. KABILING
TOKYO, Japan (via PLDT) - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joins today her fellow Southeast Asian leaders in a two-day special summit here to commemorate the region's three decades of economic and security partnership with Japan.
The President arrives this morning at the Haneda Airport accompanied by First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and a small delegation of Cabinet members to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)Japan special summit here.
At the opening of the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected to announce his country's continued support for ASEAN and its intention to promote sincere and open partnership with all the ASEAN member-countries.
ASEAN and Japan are expected to sign tomorrow a declaration that will reaffirm the basic direction of future ASEAN-Japan cooperation and give a broad guideline for ASEAN-Japan relationship.
The two-day forum caps the year-long celebration of the 30 years of friendship between Japan and ASEAN membercountries.
This is the first time ASEAN heads will hold a summit outside the region. The annual summit meetings of the ASEAN are normally held in ASEAN membercountries.
Later this afternoon, Emperor Hirohito and Empress Michiko of Japan will host a tea party for the Southeast Asian leaders at the Imperial Palace.
At the sidelines of the summit, President Arroyo is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Koizumi to initiate the formal negotiation on a comprehensive economic agreement.
Japan will also enter into similar economic pact with Thailand and Malaysia.
Arroyo will also witness the signing of loan agreements for three big power projects in the Philippines with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) worth $208.5 million.
Koizumi will host a dinner for the ASEAN leaders tonight at the Imperial Hotel.
At 8:15 a.m. tomorrow, the President will meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi where they are expected to talk about the upcoming resumption of the formal peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). …