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Aquino secures $3.655-B investments from Japan

(Updated 9:16 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III has secured $3.655 billion worth of investments after meeting with leaders of some of Japan's biggest corporations. According to a statement released on Friday by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) under Secretary Sonny Coloma, the amount of investments Aquino secured in Japan exceeded the $2.4-billion investments he scored in the United States in September. Aquino met with the following:
  • Marubeni Corp. president and CEO Teruo Asada;
  • Toshiba president and CEO Norio Sasaki;
  • Itochu deputy COO Yoshihisa Nishimura; and
  • Masahiko Yaegashi, president of JGC, the design and technology arm of Itochu Corp. The PCOO said Marubeni Corp. pledged to invest $3.4 billion in the Philippines for:
  • the expansion of the Sual and Pagbilao power stations;
  • MRT Line 7;
  • LRT 2 East and West extension project; and
  • digital TV system and equipment. Itochu Corp., on the other hand, pledged to pour in $122 million for the development of 11,000-hectare sugarcane plantation in Isabela for bioethanol production, the PCOO said. The bioethanol project is expected to generate 18,000 jobs in two years and benefit some 15,000 farmers. Toshiba Corp., meanwhile, promised to invest P133 million for its electronics products expansion in the Philippines, the PCOO added. Aquino met with the Japanese business leaders at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo before proceeding to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Yokohama. He is expected to fly back to Manila on Monday. Carandang: Figures not yet official However, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary (PCDSPO) Ricky Carandang, clarified that the figures are not official. "The figures are not official so let’s wait until the President announces the details himself," Carandang said in an interview with reporters in Japan. Commenting on the clarification made by Carandang, Coloma said the figures were just "preliminary." Coloma also noted that the press release was written from Japan. The PCOO headed by Coloma and the PCDSPO headed by Carandang have been the subject of media speculation in the past months about "turf-related issues." These issues have reportedly been the cause of some confusing Palace statements.– VVP/JV, GMANews.TV