PRIME MINISTER Shinzo Abe in his message on Monday, Dec. 25, to President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he was “deeply saddened and worried to learn the news that many precious lives were lost and serious damages were brought, including collapsed houses, forcing many people to evacuate, in your home region of Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines due to the recent typhoon.” He added: “I would also like to convey my sincere condolences on the fire in Davao City which caused many casualties. Japan is ready to provide assistance needed by your country including provision of emergency relief goods to the maximum extent possible and sincerely pray that the affected areas will recover as quickly as possible.” In his message to his Filipino counterpart Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono also said in part, “The Government of Japan is ready to provide assistance when needed by the Philippines.”