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Minister conveys regrets over comfort women statue to Duterte

Jiji Press MANILA (Jiji Press) — Visiting Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda has conveyed to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte her deep regrets over a statue symbolizing the issue of so-called comfort women built recently in Manila.

Noda disclosed her remark to Duterte as she briefed the press on their meeting in Manila on Tuesday.

Asked why she raised the topic, Noda said she was the first Japanese Cabinet minister to visit the Philippines since the establishment of the statue to remember Filipino women abused under the Japanese control from 1942 to 1945.

Noda said she “frankly” expressed her view on the issue. Duterte did not comment on the matter.

Noda added she believes Duterte understood her concerns.

The woman statue, built by the Philippine government’s National Historical Commission, was unveiled on Dec. 8 last year.

Also at the meeting with Duterte, Noda proposed a bilateral comprehensive cooperation package to help the Philippines resolve social challenges by utilizing information and communications technology.

The package includes Japan’s technical and financial cooperation on a Philippine government project to establish high-speed communications networks, as well as continued support to ensure a smooth transition to digital terrestrial television broadcasting under the Japanese format.

The Philippines is the only Association of Southeast Asian Nations member that has adopted the format.Speech

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