MANILA--Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he will push for strengthened economic ties when he visits Japan from Sept. 25-28.
Aquino met with Japanese media representatives on Sept. 16 to outline his hopes for the trip, which includes talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
Aquino also said he intends to ask the Japanese government to accept more Filipino nurses and care workers and ease their entry into Japan. The conditions were agreed to in the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement which took effect in 2008.
Referring to difficulties such workers have in gaining certification to work in Japan due to language difficulties, Aquino mentioned that Manila and Tokyo had held discussions on easing this requirement.
He also said he plans to raise the issue of territorial disputes in the South China Sea and will seek the backing of Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries over his own country's claims against China.
The Philippines and China agreed on the need for a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea during Aquino's visit to Beijing in late August. Both countries are eager to defuse tensions caused by territorial disputes.
Aquino said the Philippines will continue to defend its right and claim to part of the disputed area in the South China Sea, adding that he will discuss the issue with the Japanese government.
He noted that Japan, as well as the United States, rely on access to the South China Sea for oil tankers. Aquino said the issue will be on the main agenda of the upcoming ASEAN summit.
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