THE JAPANESE government is upgrading its consular office in the city into a consulate general office, which would have authority to handle wider commercial relations. Makoto Iyori, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, told the Mindanao Business Conference in Tagum City, Davao del Norte last weekend that the plan to enhance its Davao office is “part of strengthening the cooperation between Japan and the Philippines,” particularly in Mindanao. Mr. Iyori said they are targeting to have the expanded office in place by Jan. 2019. — Carmelito Q. Francisco