ASSISTANCE — Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa (left) shares to Speaker Pangalian Balindong (right) how the Japan’s Consulate General Office could serve the Bangsamoro people. (GALao with photo by ZSDiolanan)
COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro government steps another milestone following the visit of Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa to the Office of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament Speaker Thursday, January 30.
In his statement, Miwa proudly announced that from a simple Consular Office, the Japanese government has now upgraded to Consulate General since January 05, 2019.
Among the substantial benefits of the consulate general is the visa processing operations, where Mindanaoans including the Bangsamoro people and foreigners in Mindanao won’t be hassled by going to Manila to apply and process their Japanese visas. It covers the twenty-seven (27) provinces and thirty-three (33) cities of Mindanao.
“It’s an honor to serve Mindanao most especially the Bangsamoro, and that is why we upgraded from a simple Consular Office to Consulate General. The name is almost the same but organization-wise, it’s totally different. Now, we are directly connected to our headquarters,” Miwa emphasized.
Balindong expressed his gratefulness to the Japanese government for all the assistance they have extended most especially in this part of the country.
“I have never doubted your capability. We will forever be thankful to the Japanese people,” Balindong said.
Miwa replied when he thinks of the future, ‘the two government should be great partners’.
“We are Asian countries so we should be helping each other. Our intention is to strengthen our partnership with this region since you have established now the BTA. This is very vital for you to create a new stable system,” Miwa stressed.
During the opening of the Consulate General’s office last year, one of the guests was Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Al Hajj Murad Ibrahim.
It can be recalled that Japan is one of the countries strongly supporting the peace process in Mindanao and had been consistently supporting sustainable economic development of the Philippines.
Japan’s record of unfailing support for Mindanao spanning the peace process, development assistance, investments and cultural engagement has been unrivaled.
Today, the consulate general provides opportunities to further develop friendship between two countries since it is going to serve the people of Mindanao for many years to come. (GALao, OPS, BTA Parliament)
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