DAVAO CITY – Trade and regional security are high on the agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day visit to Japan to meet with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese officials.
Duterte, who left for Japan on Sunday night through the Davao International Airport (DIA), said regional and global threats would be the main agenda in his meeting with Japanese officials.
“We had been in discussion, together with the rest of peace-loving neighbors and even I had the chance to talk to Secretary Mattis (United States Defense Secretary Jim),” he said referring to the recent ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) that convened in Clark.
Duterte said the main agenda of the meeting with Prime Minister Abe would be on how to deal with the regional security problem.
He said terrorism and extremism occupy a lot of space during talks with world leaders. “We are all committed to destroy this ideology which knows nothing except to destroy and kill,” he said.
In his departure speech, Duterte said he will also discuss the advancement of the rule of law in the relations between [and] among nations to support greater stability and security in the region.
Duterte also thanked the Japanese government for its timely assistance in addressing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism during the Marawi crisis.
“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 wilI 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 chief Marcelino Escalada, Senator Chiz Escudero, Rep. Sonny Belmonte, and Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.