MANILA MalacaAang sent well wishes to Japanese Emperor Akihito, who will be ending his threedecade reign on Tuesday (April 30), making him the first emperor to abdicate in 200 years.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace is melancholic but respects the emperor's decision to step down from his throne and relinquish it to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito.
The Palace feels melancholic about the abdication of Japanese Emperor Akihito, who is considered a good friend of the Philippines, Panelo said in a statement on Monday.
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 added.
Panelo expressed confidence that Crown Prince Naruhito's assumption would augur well for PhilippinesJapan relations.
He noted that Japan's USD9billion investment and aid package for the Philippines, spread over five years, is the largest amount the Japanese government has committed for a single country.
The Presidential Spokesperson was also hopeful that ties between the Philippines and Japan will remain strong under the reign of Crown Prince Naruhito as the new emperor.
We hope to build the 'golden age' for PhilippinesJapan strategic partnership during the reign of the new Emperor. As PRRD himself said, Japan is our friend, closer even than a brother, Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Panelo recalled the time Emperor Akihito, together with his wife, Empress Michiko, visited the Philippines in 2016 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the normalization of PhilippineJapan diplomatic relations.
He also recalled the time Duterte was humbled by meeting His Majesty at the Imperial Palace two years ago, where he personally extended his gratitude for the kindness and compassion of the Emperor.
Prince Naruhito, 59, who ascends to the throne on Wednesday (May 1), is the elder of Emperor Akihito's two sons. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency