• Kyodo

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The Philippines was upset by a lack of economic assistance in 1977 when Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda announced an aid package for Southeast Asia, a declassified document revealed Wednesday.

The Fukuda Doctrine was announced in Manila in August 1977. Japan, seen in the region as a rising economic power, pledged to contribute to the region’s prosperity on an equal footing and build relations based on mutual understanding.

But the declassified document said Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos expressed dismay with the doctrine at an informal meeting with Fukuda after the speech, saying the absence of economic aid provided nothing but disappointment for the people of the Philippines.

Marcos called on Japan to take part in a project to build a hospital, among other things, expressing concern that his failure to obtain such assistance from Tokyo might provoke criticism that he was “weak,” the document said.

At the time of Fukuda’s visits to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, there were reports he might offer about $1 billion in financial assistance to the region.

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