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Japan’s Diet passes bill giving more protection to RP seamen
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Japan’s Diet passes bill giving more protection to RP seamen


Japan’s Diet has passed a new measure that would give more protection to Filipino seafarers particularly those deployed in vessels plying the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden.


President Arroyo broke the good news Friday night during her meeting with some 500 members of the Filipino community at the Hotel Mariners Court in Tokyo. At an earlier dinner meeting with members of the Japan All-Seamen’s Union and the Japan Ship Owners Association at the hotel, one of the topics discussed was the safety of Filipino seamen who are at risk of being kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.


“Today, Japan’s Minister of Transportation, who is a member of Parliament, broke to me the good news that Japan’s Diet (Parliament) has passed a law allowing the patrol vessels of the Japan Self-Defense Force to protect not only Japanese vessels but all other maritime vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden. This will ensure the safety of our Filipino seafarers. This shows how Japan is a strong and reliable partner to the Philippines and to our region as a whole,” Mrs. Arroyo said.


She said this is a relief to Filipino seamen who are concerned about being deployed in the Gulf of Aden where more than 200 Filipino sailors have been abducted by Somali pirates since 2006. Mrs. Arroyo also thanked the Filipino community in Tokyo as well as the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for religiously sending remittances back home which contribute to the rise in domestic consumption, one of the country’s firewalls against the global financial crisis.