Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Philippines this week shows U.S. ally Tokyo’s ambition to keep up with growing Chinese influence in the geopolitically strategic, Southeast Asian country, by ensuring steady flows of aid and investment, analysts say.
At the meeting both leaders discussed proposed plans for the future cooperation and agreements between the countries. One of the larger issues discussed was the future of agricultural trade between the countries and Japanese investments into the Philippine agriculture sector.
Japan was the largest source of Philippine direct foreign investment in 2015, with a total of $18 billion. That amount covers automotive factories, farming projects in remote areas and tourism facilities. Those investments give Japan a good name among Filipinos, who often worry about China because of the maritime dispute.
On Thursday, the two leaders met for 40 minutes and reached five deals, which cover Japanese help for agribusiness.