DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte considers Japan, a true friend.
Duterte who left for Japan, in his pre-departure statement at the Davao International Airport Sunday night, October 20, 2017 said the earlier scheduled visit to Japan was called off due to the Marawi crisis.
In his scheduled meeting with His Majesty, Japanese Emperor Akihito, Duterte stressed “I will convey to him the gratitude of our people.”
This is the second visit of Duterte to Japan “My second visit to a country which Philippines rightly considers a true friend.”
A true friend
Describing the Philippines relationship with Japan, Mr. Duterte emphasized Japan was the most understanding of the challenges back then, “We appreciate their timely assistance in addressing the threat of terror and extremism,” during the Marawi seige.
“Japan has been with us in pursuing the development in Mindanao and the entire nation,” He added.
Along with his visit, he is also looking forward to meeting his friend Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other Japanese officials.
The main agenda of the meeting with Prime Minister Abe would be on how to deal with the regional security problem.
“We are all committed to destroy this ideology which knows nothing except to destroy and kill,” he said.
“Japan was most understanding of the challenges that we faced back then, and we appreciate their timely assistance in addressing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.
The President will also tackle with Abe ways to significantly advance the strong and strategic bilateral partnership between the Philippines and Japan, especially on matters involving socio-economic development, peace and progress in Mindanao, and the build-up of modern infrastructures in our country.
Discussion will include the tariff on the Philippines products exported to Japan.
The President will also be meeting Japan’s business and industry leaders in Tokyo.
Duterte is counting on Japanese investors’ significant interest in the country’s efforts to sustain growth.
“I will work towards securing the Japanese business community as a key partner in our country’s development agenda,” the President said.
The President’s trip is expected to further strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones with the aim of ensuring that these partnerships redound to the benefit of both the Filipinos and the Japanese.
Duterte said this partnership is highlighted by the long history of relations between the two countries. “We hope to see [more] milestones and accomplishments that secure for our nations a better quality of life and a more promising shared partnership,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President also looks forward to meeting His Majesty, Emperor Akihito to personally convey gratitude for Japan’s friendship with the Philippines, which has grown stronger under His Majesty’s reign.
“Our ties and friendship with Japan is most valued. As we recognize our meaningful shared history, we will continue to be forward-looking in our relations,” Duterte said.
This is the second trip of the President to Japan. Among those in his delegation are Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada, Senator Chiz Escudero, Rep. Sonny Belmonte, and Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.-Editha Z. caduaya/Newsline.ph with reports from PNA