MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is set to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his house in Davao City this week, Malacañang confirmed Monday.
Abe, who first met Duterte at the Asean Summit in Laos last September, personally requested to visit Duterte's home during his three-day visit to the Philippines, said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
"They have struck a resonant chord between the two of them and apparently, Prime Minister Abe wants to visit the President's house," Abella told reporters.
He added that the Japanese leader will arrive in Manila on Thursday and will be given a state dinner at the Malacañang Palace before flying to Davao City on Friday.
Abe is expected to meet with Filipino business leaders both in Manila and Davao.
The final details on his visit will be announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs, said Abella.
Abe’s visit reciprocates Duterte’s own successful trip to Japan last October, DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay earlier said.
Yasay said Japan has been very active in helping the Mindanao peace process, and is the country’s biggest source of Official Development Assistance. He also noted the significant Japanese assistance in beefing up Philippine’s capacity building measures in maritime security and in the fight against terrorism.
Japan is also keen in supporting the Philippines' anti-drug campaign, and is interested in extending assistance to Asean in the fight against drugs to make Southeast Asia a drug-free region.
“Japan might want to look at how they can contribute in building a rehabilitation center in the country. So he will be visiting Davao, he will be coming to Manila we will have activities here for him and we will also have activities for him in Davao,” Yasay said.
Katsuyuki Kawai, special adviser to the Prime Minister, met with Duterte in Manila last December to discuss possible assistance to help implement the war against drugs in the Philippines. This consultation followed Abe’s announcement during Duterte’s visit to Japan that he would provide assistance in combating drug-related crimes in the Philippines.