Kono: Japan supports peace process in Philippines

Kono: Japan supports peace process in Philippines

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono says Japan supports the ongoing peace process in the Philippines, which is aimed at ending over 40 years of armed conflict on the southern island of Mindanao.

Kono met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao, Duterte's hometown, on Saturday. Davao is located on the island of Mindanao.

Five years ago, the government and Muslim militants, who had fought each other for more than four decades, signed a peace agreement. It called for the creation of an autonomous government for Muslim residents in the region.

Kono told Duterte that Japan welcomes the progress that was made during the peace process.

Kono noted that Japan set up a consulate general on January first in Davao. He said Japan intends to continue to support efforts by the Philippines to rebuild the conflict-torn region.

Duterte said it was an honor for him to welcome the Japanese foreign minister to his hometown. He said his country is ready to cooperate with Japan.

Kono is scheduled to hold talks with his Philippine counterpart Teodoro Locsin on Sunday. He plans to outline specific economic measures that Japan can undertake to help restore the region.